Universal Studios and Redbox have agreed to a multi-year deal: through 2014, Redbox has agreed not to rent out the studio's movies until 28 days after they're released on DVD. The 28-day window is standard in the industry, but back in January, another studio — Warner Bros. — extended its new release window from 28 to 56 days, meaning Redbox (as well as Netflix and Blockbuster) would have to wait nearly two full months after a Warner movie's retail release in order to rent it. Redbox rejected the deal, but still has access to Warner discs through third parties, albeit at higher prices. We thought we might see other studios following in Warner Bros. footsteps demanding a 56-day window, but Universal is deciding it would rather put up with the status quo.
So why did Warner want a longer window in the first place? Some people in the film industry believe the extra 28 days could help increase demand for retail DVDs, but how many people are willing to break down and buy a new movie rather than wait an extra 28 days to rent or stream it? Plus, now that Redbox doesn't have to go through Warner for the studio's discs, the company is threatening to rent them on the same day they hit store shelves — exactly what Warner was trying to avoid. In any case, we're just glad to see the 56-day window doesn't seem to be gaining steam.