Mark this day in your calendars, folks, because today is a banner day in the history of cinematic entertainment. Today, Blockbuster is dead. Would that I could only be the first to piss on its rotten grave.
From Time Magazine:
Blockbuster’s brick and mortar locations will be extinct by New Year’s Day.
Although physical Blockbuster stores have been few and far between, parents company DISH announced Wednesday that it will shutter the doors of the last 300 U.S. stores by the end of the year and end its by-mail DVD distribution service by early January.
“This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” DISH CEO Joseph P. Clayton said.
Instead, Blockbuster will focus on streaming content to DISH customers.
In case you don’t remember the dark decade between the mid nineties and mid 2000s that perhaps not-coincidentally also saw the rise of Limp Bizkit, it was a time when the Viacom-owned (as of 1994, when it bought it for $7.6 billion) juggernaut Blockbuster Video invaded every town, pushing out independent video stores that nurtured slacker film-dork clerks like Quentin Tarantino who spent all day watching obscure and esoteric movies and stocked porn behind a brown curtain, and replaced them with blue-and-yellow monuments to fascism, that played an endless loop of whatever big-budget crap its parent company was shilling and by 2000 was earning 16% of its total income (to the tune of $800 million) through onerus late fees. I’m no ma-and-pop store romanticist, and if the independent coffee shop sucks I’ll happily go to Starbucks, but Blockbuster was a store with a shitty selection that eliminated its competition through ruthless corporate agreements and shrewd real estate deals, and once it was the market leader, used its relative monopoly to increase profits by buttf*cking its own customers. Who doesn’t remember having to change phone numbers during the late 90s and early 2000s to try to escape multiplaying late fees? How many even poorer souls had one of their earliest, shittiest jobs there? Blockbuster was the only game in town back then, and that game sucked worse than “Nookie.”
Blockbuster belongs in the all-time awful company hall of fame, next to Comcast and Time Warner. And while their government-granted freedom from competition will keep the latter two in business for the forseeable future, let us all celebrate the death of their compatriot, the once-invincible swill-shilling money extractor known as Blockbuster Video. Good riddance, Blockbuster, you horrible, awful, no-good, soul-sucking afterbirth. Rest in piss, you big bag of shit-stained dildos.