Fox, Universal Hold DVDs Hostage For 28 Days In Netflix Deal


Avatar is going to be sitting in your Netflix (NFLX) queue long before you see it in your mailbox.

20th Century Fox (NWS) and Universal Pictures (GE) just made new distribution deals with the DVD service that will delay new releases from appearing in their online service for 28 days.

It’s another win for the movie industry. Warner Bros. set the precedent in January with their 28-day delay deal.

As the LA Times tells us, the “first new movies that will be covered by the new Netflix deals are the most popular ones released by Fox and Universal in theatres around the 2009 holiday season: ‘Avatar,’ and ‘It’s Complicated,’ which will go on sale April 22 and 27, respectively.”

The studios are hoping they can sell more DVDs if they hold out on letting people rent the movie on Netflix. According to studio stats, 75% of DVD sell-through happens within in the first four weeks of a new movie hitting the market.

Now both studios need to untangle their legal battles with Redbox to nail a similar deal.

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