Did Whitney Houston's The Bodyguard Get Pulled From Netflix Instant To Boost DVD Sales?

Only a few months after Michael Jackson's death in 2009, Columbia Pictures released the Kenny Ortega-directed documentary This Is It. While the footage wasn't actually supposed to be for public viewing initially - the director previously said that they were simply for Jackson's personal library - the film ended up being a smash hit, making over $261 million worldwide and becoming the highest grossing concert film and documentary of all time. The point is that people have never been above exploiting the deaths of celebrities before, so why would they start with Whitney Houston?

Journalist Dan McDermott recently wrote a post on Google + reporting that streaming rights for Houston's most popular film, The Bodyguard, have been pulled as a way to pump up DVD sales (the movie won't be available on Blu-ray until next month). According to McDermott, he tried to watch the film on Netflix, where it was previously available for instant viewing, but it is no longer available. Comments on the movie's page showed that people were outraged about the film's disappearance, so McDermott called a representative at the company. They responded by saying,

"Okay Dan, I just went and talked to my main supervisor as to why the movie had been pulled and the reason it was pulled was the production company pulled the streaming rights from us because all the publicity after Whitney Houston's passing there was an opportunity to make really a very large amount of money on the DVD sales of her movies. So they're going to pull all the streaming titles we have of Whitney Houston so they can make more money off the DVD sales of her movies."

It should be noted that while The Bodyguard is no longer available to be streamed through Netflix, it is still available to rent on Amazon (opens in new tab) (for $2.99) and Waiting to Exhale, arguably Houston's second most famous film, is still available to watch on Netflix Instant (though that title was released by 20th Century Fox instead of Warner Bros.).

Because I don't recognize the source I'm not entirely sure how much faith to put into this story. Unless Warner Bros. comes out with an official statement regarding this situation or Netflix brings the title back to streaming feel free not to get too outraged.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.