The website of the defunct video rental chain Blockbuster has been mysteriously reactivated in recent days, prompting wild speculation that the company is planning a comeback.
“We are working to rewind your movie,” the Blockbuster.com website now reads, while the mobile version offers a similar message: “Be kind while we rewind.”
Although a single privately owned Blockbuster store still operates in Bend, Oregon, the parent company disappeared a decade ago after Dish Network bought out its assets in bankruptcy and closed operations.
Dish still owns Blockbuster LLC and the brand’s trademarks, and Blockbuster’s website is registered at the address of Dish’s corporate headquarters in Englewood, Colorado.
In November, Dish filed a new trademark application for the Blockbuster logo, although it appears to be related to the short-lived Netflix comedy series, called Blockbuster, about a last surviving fictional store.
The website of the defunct video rental chain Blockbuster (above) has mysteriously reactivated in recent days, prompting wild speculation that the company is planning a comeback.
A single privately owned Blockbuster store (above) still operates in Bend, Oregon, but the parent company disappeared a decade ago.
It’s unclear if Blockbuster’s website was revived in some sort of marketing tie-in to the Netflix show, though the show was canceled in December after a single 10-episode season.
The half-hour comedy series launched on November 3 and failed to make Netflix’s weekly Top 10 during its run, according to Deadline.
Representatives for Dish and Netflix did not immediately respond to inquiries from DailyMail.com outside of regular business hours on Thursday.
It’s not the first time that rumors of a Blockbuster comeback have swirled around the iconic brand.
In January 2022, fans went wild after Blockbuster filed a trademark application seeking to use the mark for a cryptocurrency and NFT marketplace.
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts took it as proof that Blockbuster was planning to issue its own digital currency and dive into the NFT market, but no such moves have materialized, and it’s possible the trademark is some kind of esoteric corporate joke.
Randall Park as Timmy and Simon Druker as Remington Alexander in the Netflix comedy series Blockbuster. The show was canceled in December after a single 10-episode season.
In November, Dish-owned Blockbuster LLC filed a new trademark application for the logo, though it appears to be related to Netflix’s short-lived comedy series.
At its peak in 2004, Blockbuster had 9,000 iconic yellow and blue-themed movie rental stores around the world.
In 2007, when Netflix launched, Blockbuster had a turnover of $5 billion, but as the Great Recession loomed and stores like Target and Walmart began selling ever cheaper DVDs, business began to suffer.
At the beginning of 2009, the debt was almost 780 million dollars. Increasing competition from on-demand movie streaming services like Netflix and Hulu forced Blockbuster to file for bankruptcy in 2010.
Dish acquired the company’s assets at auction and attempted to launch a Netflix streaming competitor called Blockbuster Movie Pass, which failed to gain ground.
The company closed all of its corporate-owned stores in 2014, though some franchises remained that operated by continuing to pay license fees to Dish.
In 2019, a privately owned franchise in Oregon became the world’s last Blockbuster store. It still operates today, defying the forces of history.
A tourist takes a selfie in front of the Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon. Blockbuster store became the last in the US in 2019
Blockbuster’s official Twitter account disappeared in January 2014, after posting a series of tweets promoting “fantastic deals” and deep discounts on DVDs at store closing sales.
The account returned briefly in 2020, and again last summer, with tweets about NFTs fueling speculation of some sort of crypto-focused comeback.
The account remains sporadically active, mainly posting jokes and memes. The most recent tweet, from March 15, teased a possible relaunch of the brand.
“New business idea: we’re going to come back as a bank and use VHS and DVD as currency,” he said. ‘Time to go visit your mom.’