Nielsen: ‘The Last Blockbuster’ Doc Resonated With TV Streamers

Netflix’s streaming of “The Last Blockbuster,” the documentary showcasing the video chain’s last operating store and company legacy, was a hit with Nielsen households. The data tracker said TV viewers streamed 133 million minutes of the doc for the period from March 15-21.

The doc took on special meaning considering it was Netflix’s by-mail DVD rental and subsequent SVOD business models that contributed to Blockbuster’s decline as the country’s largest home video store.

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Nielsen, which tracks Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney+ viewership on household televisions, said the SVOD pioneer continues to dominate its weekly charts, with original series “Ginny & Georgia,” licensed show, “Criminal Minds,” and original movie, Yes Day, topping all charts.

Source: Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television.

 

Licensed Content:

Rank

SVOD Provider

Program Name

Number of Episodes

Minutes Streamed
(Millions)

1 Netflix “Grey’s Anatomy” 367 673
2 Netflix “Criminal Minds” 307 647
3 Netflix “NCIS” 353 569
4 Netflix “Cocomelon” 6 506
5 Netflix “Heartland” 158 458
6 Netflix “Schitt’s Creek” 80 400
7 Netflix “Supernatural” 328 358
8 Netflix “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” 458 319
9 Netflix “Gilmore Girls” 153 295
10 Netflix “New Girl” 146 289

Movies:

Rank

SVOD Provider

Program Name

Number

Minutes Streamed
(Millions)

1 Netflix Yes Day 1 593
2 Netflix Savages 1 434
3 Netflix Operation Varsity Blues  1 291
4 Netflix Deadly Illusions (2021)
1 279
5 Amazon Coming 2 America 1 273
6 Disney+ Moana 1 266
7 Disney+ Raya and The Last Dragon 1 203
8 Disney+ Frozen II 1 146
9 Netflix Parker (2013) 1 135
10 Netflix The Last Blockbuster 1 133

Netflix to Stream ‘The Last Blockbuster’ Video Store Documentary

Netflix is set to stream documentary “The Last Blockbuster,” showcasing the last-standing Blockbuster Video store in the world located in Bend, Ore., the people who work there, still rent DVD movies, and industry people who supported the former 9,000-store franchise before it shuttered in 2014. The doc streams on Netflix, beginning March 15.

The license acquisition is not without irony as Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings in 1997 first launched the future SVOD titan as a ground-breaking by-mail DVD rental service after getting fed up paying Blockbuster late fees.

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Just three years later, Hastings and former CFO Barry McCarthy flew to Blockbuster’s corporate headquarters in Dallas hoping to sell the fiscally-challenged company for $50 million. They were laughed out of the company boardroom. And the rest is history.

“A lot of people know that Blockbuster had the chance to buy Netflix early on, and they passed on the opportunity,” reads the doc’s Facebook page. “In an ironic twist of fate, our movie The Last Blockbuster is coming to Netflix. We are beyond excited for people to get to see this tribute to an era of home video on the world’s largest streaming service. Just don’t forget to rewind it when you’re done watching it and bring it back by noon on Wednesday.”

The Last Blockbuster is currently available on Apple iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, FandangoNow, and Vudu, among other digital properties.

 

‘The Last Blockbuster’ Documentary Trailer Released

The trailer to the full-length documentary The Last Blockbuster has been released. The clip promotes the 40-minute film, which outlines the rise and fall of the world’s largest video store chain, and the last location’s struggles to stay in business in Bend, Ore.

A premiere is slated for May 8 at the Tower Theater in Bend, to be followed by an afterparty at the Blockbuster store.

Funded in 2018 by a Kickstarter crowd-source social media platform and distributed by Pop Motion Pictures, filmmaker Taylor Morden and producer Zeke Kamm sought to interview people who had worked for Blockbuster back when the chain had 9,000 stores and 80,000 employees worldwide, was synonymous with home video and seen as an insurmountable threat by an upstart by-mail DVD rental service named Netflix.

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Blockbuster, which was based in Dallas, filed for bankruptcy in 2010, its remaining 1,700 stores acquired by Dish Network. The satellite TV operator later disclosed it bought the chain largely for its retail footprint and a future mobile telecom business it has just now organized through the acquisition of Boost Mobile.

When the filmmakers began their project, several operating Blockbuster stores still existed, including in Bend where they lived. When the next-to-last store (in Alaska) shuttered, the rush to get the documentary completed took on a sense of urgency.

“I remember saying, ‘so many people have worked at Blockbuster, some of them must be hilarious, interesting, famous, whatever,'” Kamm told Comicbook.com.

The trailer features commentary from indie director Kevin Smith, former Blockbuster CFO Thomas Casey, Ione Sky, Eric Close, Jamie Kennedy, Adam Brody, Samm Levine and Doug Benson, among others.

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“If there’s some cats in Oregon still scratching it out with, you know, ‘be kind, rewind,’ nothing wrong with that. That’s beautiful,” Smith says on the trailer.

Details when the doc is released on DVD, Blu-ray Disc or even VHS, as some Kickstarter contributors have requested, has not been disclosed.