Blockbuster Probably Liquidated, Not That You’d Notice

Remember back in the day when people rented movies from a store? When the bored video store clerk was still a relevant pop culture trope? Just barely, probably. So it won’t affect you much when Blockbuster, the dying blue and yellow video rental chain, is most likely liquidated today. A federal bankruptcy judge will decide whether or not the chain stays in business. Confession: up until now I kind of assumed they were already out of business.

Ever since it became obsolete to rent physical movies from a physical retail store, Blockbuster has been struggling. It suffered a nearly $65 million net loss between November and January. The company is trying to prevent its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case from becoming a Chapter 7, which would liquidate all its assets and pay off its creditors. But as its government bankruptcy trustee put it, Blockbuster is “administratively insolvent” and, long story short, ready to die.

Which was bound to happen sooner or later. Netflix came along and put the last nail in Blockbuster’s coffin — a coffin that filesharing on the Internet started building years ago. Not to sound naive, but the speed with which all this has gone down is pretty amazing. I remember renting a movie from Blockbuster as recently as two or three years ago. Now that particular franchise is gone. As I noticed on a recent visit home to my parents, so is the one in my hometown.

Apparently there are 5,000 Blockbuster stores left, which doesn’t sound like all that many until you consider that the chain still employs 20,000 people. That’s the sobering aspect of this. I may not really care about Blockbuster’s demise if it does happen, but those people certainly will. Okay, have fun perusing what’s on Instant Watch!

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