One of the most frequent (and false) criticisms we hear is that our business model is based on “fooling people” into watching our movies.
Not only has that never been our intention, but it also just doesn’t happen.
Both Blockbuster and Hollywood Video provided us with detailed monthly reports on all of the transactional data on our movies, and the returns (customers asking for their money back) were consistently less than 1%. If consumers were really picking up Pirates of Treasure Island and thinking it was that other pirate film, the returns would have been astronomical.
Most people aren’t that dumb.
I think Mockbusters are like store brands. Say you’ve got a cold and you walk into your local Walgreens for some medicine (and a pap smear). You see the Sudafed, and right next to it, in a box that looks remarkably similar to the national brand, the store’s own “Nasal Decongestant.” I don’t think most people buy the store brand because they think it’s really Sudafed in a different box. I think they buy it because they think it will be similar to Sudafed, only cheaper.
Just like our Mockbusters. They’re similar to big studio films, only cheaper.
If that’s possible.