Revenge of the video store: Blockbuster is back, but not as you know it

Following some success in Denmark, the ‘new’ streaming service, which screens movies straight from the cinema, is expanding into the Nordics

Whatever happened to Blockbuster? No, not the 1973 song by The Sweet, the US video/ later DVD store chain that became everyone’s second favourite place to go on a Friday night in the 1990s – after the pub.

READ MORE: Streaming killed the video store: if only Blockbuster could rewind 13 years

What a lot of Americans, Brits and Danes might not be aware of is that Blockbuster wasn’t particularly international, as it only had a presence in ten countries, of which Denmark was the only one in the Nordics.

But all that has changed this week, as Blockbuster is expanding into Sweden, Finland and Norway, even if it isn’t the Blockbuster we all remember.

Specialises in films
The original ‘Blockbuster’ shut down in Denmark in 2014 four years after its parent company went bankrupt, and the name was acquired by TDC.

Today it is the name of a new streaming service, and like its predecessor it specialises in films.

It already has 300,000 customers in Denmark, who pay a fee for each movie or TV show they watch, instead of a subscription.

Straight from the cinema
While the likes of Netflix and HBO tend to focus on the latest TV series, their films tend to be reasonably dated by the time they’re shown.

Thanks to revenue-sharing deals with the likes of Disney, Fox and Warner, Blockbuster’s movies, in contrast, arrive almost immediately.

“Our movies come straight from the cinema,” enthused Blockbuster chief executive Casper Hald to Breakit. “Blockbuster will have had the movies available for a year once they become available on Netflix and HBO.”

 Blockbuster currently has 8,000 movies and 350 TV show seasons in its range.