Watching movies at home has seriously evolved in the past year, with new streaming services popping up around every corner in the past few years alone. Still, it’s been heading this way for years. Netflix revolutionized how we view movies, for better and for worse, with its major success as a streaming service at the cost of Blockbuster Video. The company that started in the '80s made renting movies an outing, and its story is getting a spotlight with Netflix’s latest release, The Last Blockbuster.
Yes, Netflix of all places is the home of a documentary on the rise and fall of Blockbuster Video, and the internet served all the buttery shade as to why that’s just weird. In one Twitter user’s words:
Just to be clear, Netflix didn’t actually produce The Last Blockbuster. The documentary was made by Taylor Morden and Zeke Kamm back in 2018 after launching an online kickstarter to fund the production about the dwindling video rental stores. The movie tells the story of the iconic business through personal stories and features appearances from big names such as Kevin Smith and Adam Brody to paint a picture of its impact. Here’s another reaction of its place on Netflix:
Aside from the fact that Netflix’s prominence clearly made going to a video store and renting physical copies of movies pretty obsolete, back in 2000, Netflix apparently unsuccessfully tried to sell itself to Blockbuster Video for $50 million, to which the business declined. Below, you can see a great graphic showing how Blockbuster locations came and went between the ‘80s and the present day, where one surviving Blockbuster stands in Bend, Oregon:
Just seven years ago, there were 50 Blockbuster Video locations left, but that number quickly went down to one as Netflix’s empire grew into the major studio it is today. This year, Netflix has become so massive that it is boasting a new original movie every single week in 2021, which is just insane. Netflix also dominated this year’s Oscar nominations with 35 nods from the Academy. As another fan quipped of The Last Blockbuster release:
Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy back in 2010, just a few years before Netflix started rolling out its first original programs, such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. The service has doubled and tripled in importance in just the last few years, and inspired many more studios to invest in streaming, leading to Disney+, HBO Max and the recently-rebranded Paramount+. Even though it's odd to see The Last Blockbuster on Netflix, viewers are really enjoying seeing the documentary from the comfort of their homes:
The Blockbuster Video era certainly holds a special place in many people’s hearts, and it’s nostalgic to go back and imagine ourselves renting a movie from their stores. The Last Blockbuster is available to stream over on Netflix now alongside a ton of new March releases.