Editorial – Going local

The decision for corporate fat-cat Disney to implement a blanket rental “hold” on its new releases for 28 days is short-sighted.

It’s simply wrong, but we can help.

The decision for corporate fat-cat Disney to implement a blanket rental “hold” on its new releases for 28 days – only allowing movie lovers to buy its products is short-sighted and shameful.

Sure movie corporations need to ensure they’re still making a buck, and yes the birth of movie distribution companies such as Redbox and Netflix would spark challenges and the need for movie giants to implement changes.

But not one size fits all.

Canada doesn’t have the same options for movie rentals as our American neighbours. Netflix doesn’t provide mail delivery, nor does it offer new releases. Redbox (a mobile movie rental vending machine) only has a couple hundred locations in Canada, while the US has tens of thousands.

And some in rural locations do not have access to on demand movie rental, or they can’t afford it.

So it makes sense for Disney to loosen its policy for independent Canadian movie businesses. Or at the very least, hear them out.

Movie Experts, a team of 1,000 Canadian movie retail locations, is trying to engage the movie giant in conversation.

But Disney refuses and local movie store owner, Mitch Vik of K-Max is right on the money when he says it’s a deliberate way to undermine movie stores. Which is why he’s refusing to “hold” the Disney flicks.

As film fanatics (and community-minded individuals) we need to help them out. Yes, that means getting off the couch and going to the store to choose the movie you’re going to enjoy.

Yes, it also means you need to return it. But when did that become such a task?

We need to make an effort to support independent business, especially one that is facing such a hard-handed ruling from a corporation so powerful the fight seems fruitless.

Enough is enough.

The next slated big-ticket Disney flick set for release is The Avengers, Sept. 25. If Disney had its way you wouldn’t be able to walk into a movie store, browse the aisles, ask a clerk for their opinion, and rent the star-studded box office hit.

But Vik, and many others stores, are letting you do it anyway. I, for one, will be renting my copy of The Avengers at one of our independent locations, not buying it, nor hitting a button on my television.

I hope you’ll join me.

–Autumn MacDonald, Observer