Death of the DVD: Redbox Faces Extinction Amid Bankruptcy Threat

Things could be going disastrously wrong for the biggest entertainment rental service in the U.S., as missed payments have brought the company ever closer to bankruptcy. Here’s the full story.

The Red Giant’s Fall

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Redbox is in big trouble. The movie rental kiosk company, famous for its red machines outside grocery stores, has missed an important multimillion-dollar debt payment. Now, things are looking grim. 

Court Orders Redbox to Pay Up

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On Thursday, things went from bad to worse for Redbox. After failing to pay a $4 million installment of a $16.7 million settlement to NBCUniversal, a Los Angeles court ordered Redbox to pay the entire $16.7 million settlement to NBCUniversal immediately

Details Of The Royalty Settlement

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This payment was supposed to be part of a scheduled payment that would settle unpaid DVD and online rental royalties that Redbox stopped paying in the summer of 2022. Having missed the payment, financial experts are worried this could spell disaster for the company and its employees.

Bankruptcy Looms on the Horizon

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With its finances spiraling out of control, bankruptcy seems almost inevitable for Redbox and its parent company, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (CSSE).

A Settlement Gone Wrong

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Redbox initially resisted NBCUniversal’s demands for royalties but eventually settled – agreeing to pay in three installments. The first payment, due by June 10th, never arrived. 

Court Orders Redbox to Pay Up

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As per the settlement, missing a payment allowed NBCUniversal to seek a full judgment for the entire amount – which a judge quickly granted.

The Acquisition That Spelled Trouble

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The roots of this crisis can be traced back to August 2022 when CSSE acquired Redbox in a $375 million merger, taking on $325 million in debt in the process. Since then, things have gone downhill. 

A Huge $937 Million Deficit

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By the end of the first quarter of this year, CSSE had accumulated a massive $937 million deficit. Adding to their problems, the company is facing down multiple lawsuits from business partners for not paying bills and breaking agreements.

Bad Timing

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The timing of these financial problems couldn’t be worse for CSSE and Redbox, as the entertainment industry is in a huge period of change. Hollywood strikes have disrupted production, and people are consuming media differently from how they were in 2022. 

Stock Market Woes

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To top it all off, CSSE’s stock has been trading below $1 for almost a year. They’ve had repeated warnings about being delisted from the Nasdaq and have been trying to renegotiate debts to avoid bankruptcy. So far, they have had little success raising the money they need.

The Failed $175 Million Fundraising Attempt

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CSSE had hoped to raise $175 million this spring to pay off NBCUniversal, settle other lawsuits, and manage their debts – but they just couldn’t pull it off. That’s part of the reason they defaulted on their debt in early June.

A Desperate CEO’s Unorthodox Move

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After failing to raise the money, CEO Bill Rouhana made a very unique move that was only allowed due to Delaware law. 

A Last-Ditch Effort

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Instead of filing for bankruptcy, he fired the entire board of directors – including his wife. Experts claim that this was a desperate move by a desperate company.

Another Blow to Operations

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Redbox is also dealing with huge operational issues. In early June, a company leasing over 400 cars to Redbox sued for unpaid bills and won the right to repossess all the vehicles. 

Spinning a Crisis

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Redbox informed its staff that it would start returning some of these cars and tried to spin it as an “evolution of our fleet strategy.” 

The Truth Behind the Car Controversy

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Court documents, however, painted the real picture, as Redbox attorneys had written the loss of the fleet would mean “Redbox would be compelled to terminate hundreds of jobs and would be put out of business.”

Stock Market Reaction to the Chaos

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All this chaos has, of course, had a direct impact on CSSE’s stock. It dropped 6% during Monday’s trading session, closing at just under 29 cents. When news of the board’s removal spread, shares rebounded 3% but were still down overall.

A Bleak Outlook 

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Despite this small recovery, the outlook for Redbox and CSSE remains bleak. Missing the payment to NBCUniversal has revealed just how bad things are, and it has also raised serious doubts about Redbox’s ability to keep going without a major overhaul or bankruptcy.

Is There Life In An Outdated Business Model?

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With the DVD rental market shrinking and streaming services taking over, Redbox’s old business model is in big trouble. The mix of legal issues, disruptions, and overwhelming debt suggests that without some major changes, Redbox might not survive much longer.

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The post Death of the DVD: Redbox Faces Extinction Amid Bankruptcy Threat first appeared on Liberty & Wealth.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

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