Blockbuster Considering Bankruptcy?

Though company spokespeople are denying it, news reports say that Blockbuster has hired law firm Kirkland & Ellis to help it explore a possible bankruptcy filing.

Of course, Blockbuster has been on the retail watch lists of industry observers for a while now, and the chain’s main competition is performing extremely well in the recession.

Blockbuster has admitted that it hired Kirkland for refinancing and capital-raising initiatives, but how realistic is that task in this economic environment?

According to this article, Hollywood isn’t sweating a possible Blockbuster bankruptcy. Are shopping center landlords as prepared for such a scenario?


14 Responses to “Blockbuster Considering Bankruptcy?”

  1. 1 James March 4, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Well, it only took 25 years. True story, I guy came to me in 1984 and said he had a new concept for a retail store, it was called Videomax and he was going to rent movie videos to the public. I told him he was crazy because 500 channel TV was right on the horizon and we would be able to order any movie we wanted whenever we wanted it over the cable. No one would need his store. I guess I missed out on 25 years of income. Now these stores are truly obsolete.

  2. 2 Ladislao March 4, 2009 at 9:05 am

    There was a similar article that you put out Ian a while ago about Blockbuster (BB) when they were interested in purchasing Circuit City (CC) and how CC “balked” at the idea of that happening. Here’s the bottom line, the reason why this is happening is because of all the DVD Kiosk machines at EVERY corner; Super Markets, Drug Stores, McD’s, Corner Stores – the list goes on… Your new “BIG DAWGS” in the market today are – Redbox, Movie Cube, Dvmatic, DVDNow, etc. and they all charge $1.00 or $2.00 per day. You can’t beat that. And if you’re looking for a the classics Redbox is even starting their collection. If you don’t like that selection, well there’s always Netfilx… BB had their time in the sun, and they ripped people off with those big time charges on their movies anyway. Time for them to move over. It’s that “Big, Bigger, Biggest, Smaller” theory kickin’ into effect… We have way too much stuff in this country anyway; too much over abundance. It’s time that we “small up” a bit and appreciate what we have. That’s what got us into this economic mess to begin with. Actually it was the inception of The Federal Reserve and their fiat based money system that put us here, but that’s another story altogether…

  3. 3 Derrich March 4, 2009 at 9:19 am

    …and don’t forget about Video On Demand. Blockbuster’s offering pales in comparison to that of Netflix…and now Amazon. VOD is making a serious run, so this news about Blockbuster doesn’t surprise me.

  4. 4 E March 4, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Wild stuff; I alwasy thought Blockbuster would be more nimble. They could see how the home entertainment market was shifting years ago — their “in” would have been to buy a “Net Flix” at-birth, maybe leverage into an existing cable network, and diversify a wee-bit.

    To be fair, Blockbuster has tried experiments (remember the early VOD trial with, gulp, ENRON, in 2000-01), but nothing’s really taken hold. B-B won’t make it without a partnership of some-sort with a major media player.

  5. 5 Brad March 4, 2009 at 10:32 am

    To answer your question, other businesses will swiftly fill in the distribution hole left by a defunct Blockbuster video.

    The landlords of medium and smaller strips are not as prepared and will have yet another empty slot on their hands. Ian, any bets on at what discounted rate and how long to bring in new tenants?

  6. 6 Ladislao March 4, 2009 at 10:35 am

    You know Ian, I have to add something. You really want to “write” something that is going to “hit home” with a lot of people, you should really write an article on The Federal Reserve; from the inception to where it currently stands right now. And I’m talking about an 8 to 10 part article – everything from how they came to be all the way through their Fractional Reserve Banking System (explained through Modern Money Mechanics) and where it’s led to. THE WHOLE NINE. Because when it really comes right down to it that IS the reason why we are heading into this crash. There is a online interactive free book being written by Robert Kiyosaki called: Conspiracy Of The Rich. To get to that website go to: I hope you take this to heart Ian, because you seem to be a person who would go after something like that. I would like to hear your response if you read this… Take care and talk to you soon. Ladislao…

  7. 7 Alex March 4, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Ladislao – are you joking? Ian just rehashes articles – provides “hors d’oeuvres” as one user so eloquently said and we provide the “main meal”. He has no main meal to provide! thats what i was also saying – i would really enjoy reading a “main meal” here – or some real insight that we can comment on relative to the retail industry. BTW: kyosaki’s interactive free book is really good – for those of you that havent read it yet.

  8. 8 Alex March 4, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Netflix is the best – most users dont mind waiting a few days to watch a movie, but the bad part is having to plan when a movie will arrive or what to watch for a weekend. For netflix the cost is the best part along with the large selection and ratings – thats why users stick with netflix, and why they never migrated to blockbuster online. Sometimes friday rolls around and you want a movie – if you dont have a netflix then you can get it on demand for the same price as blockbuster.

    interesting how color schemes have nothing to do with performance (blue = best buy / blockbuster, and red = circuit city / netflix).

    Think about that one readers….

  9. 9 iritter March 4, 2009 at 11:42 am


    The main point of this blog is to generate readers’ comments about their thoughts on industry topics, like a retail real estate discussion board.

    If you don’t like that format, I’m sure there are thousands of other places where you can go to read straight up opinion pieces about all things retail.

    Or you can start your own blog here:
    It’s free.

    I’m sorry you’ve been forced to read this one.

  10. 10 Ladislao March 4, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Alex –

    Thank you for recognizing my comments. I was hoping that Ian (from what I stated earlier “…because you seem to be a person who would go after something like that.”) would welcome what that challenge.

    I was wrong. Another “PC” (politically correct) Wart on the A** of Society…

    By the way Ian, You should be POINTING that comment at ME NOT ALEX. I’m the one that started this. Also, you just stated “The main point of this blog is to generate readers’ comments about their thoughts on industry topics, like a retail real estate discussion board.”

    Weather you want to believe it or not the The Federal Reserve is not only a part of that “industry,” they were a part of it’s creation. AND a crumbling one at that.

    In 2013 The Federal Reserve will be celebrating it’s 100 year anniversary (or it’s demise). Whichever comes first. I have a strong feeling it will be the latter statement.

    As a famous philosopher once said:

    “Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value: zero.” — François-Marie Arouet (or better known for his “pen” name – Voltaire

    During the American Civil War, President Lincoln bypassed the high interest loans offered by the European banks, and decided to do what the founding fathers advocated, which was to create an independent and inherently debt free currency. It was called the Greenback. Shortly after this measure was taken, an internal document circulated between private British and American banking interests. Stated: “Slavery is but the owning of labor and carries with it the care of the laborers, while the European plan… is that capital shall control labor by controlling wages. This can be done by controlling the money. It will not do to allow the Greenback… as we cannot control that.” The Hazard Circular July 1862

    In fact the last time in American history the national debt was completely paid of was in 1835 after President Andrew Jackson shut down the central bank that preceded the Federal Reserve. In fact Jackson’s entire political platform essentially revolved around his commitment to shut down the central banks, stating at one point – “The bold efforts the present bank has made to control the Government… are but premonitions of the fate that awaits the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution, or the establishment of another like it.” -Andrew Jackson

    “If there were no debts in our money system, there wouldn’t be any money” -Marriner Eccles – Governor of the Federal Reserve 1941 house Committee on Banking and Currency

    “$1 in 1913 required $21.60 in 2007 to match value. That is a 96% devaluation since the Federal Reserve came into existence. (96% devaluation in 94 years)” – Zeitgeist 2 the Movie: Addendum

    “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.” – Woodrow Wilson, after signing the Federal Reserve into existence

    Chew on those quotes while we “generally” talk about the the retail market & Real Estate market. (and it’s collapse).

    So Ian, you’re actually going to sit there and tell me and all your readers that this is NOT a relevant topic? Come on man, you should know better…

    I’m am pained you’ve been forced to read this one…

  11. 11 wstreetis4lovers March 4, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Even if Blockbuster is denying that bankruptcy is in talks, the act alone of them hiring Kirkland and Ellis shows there in some sort of trouble.

    And if the company doesn’t believe they are, then shareholders of BBI better believe they are. The company has lost almost 92% over the last year. Just looking at investor sentiment you can see how bearish it has become

    Investors have lost faith in this company and I don’t blame them with competitors like NetFlix leading the industry of home rentals and home entertainment.

  12. 12 WRandolphHearst March 5, 2009 at 2:53 am

    When the dollar was backed by gold, we still experienced recessions and depressions. In fact, we experienced more of them and more frequently. Keep reading, you’re getting there.

  13. 13 Ladislao March 5, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    To WRandolphHearst –

    WHAT ?!?! You’re kidding right? Anytime you have a central banking system with:

    – NO audits
    – NO transparency
    – NO accountability
    – NO restrictions on how much money they are allowed to print


    Also, if you REALLY believe that backing what we did with GOLD & SILVER didn’t set limits to our already diluted money supply then go to this website to educate yourself some more…

    Just watch this and you will understand why I say what I’ve been saying. Thank you for your reply Randolph…

  14. 14 Ladislao March 5, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    To Ian:

    I just have one word for you… BLOCKBUSTER !!! I figured I should stick to the topic at hand, so at least mentioning the word BLOCKBUSTER will “feel” like I am. Again… BLOCKBUSTER !!!

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