A customer returns videos to a Redbox kiosk in Santa Monica. (Lawrence K. Ho, Los Angeles…)
Big-budget sequels ruled the box office this year, but it was romantic comedies that topped rentals at red kiosks.
The Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston comedy "Just Go With It" was the most rented movie at Redbox kiosks in 2011, according to new data released by the $1-per-night DVD company. Right behind was the Ashton Kutcher-Natalie Portman romantic comedy "No Strings Attached."
All of the top five movies were those intended to make audiences laugh, a list that also included the animated comedy "Rango," the romantic comedy "The Dilemma" and the buddy comedy "Due Date."
Unsurprisingly, the top 10 movies were all released in theaters in early 2011 or late 2010, giving them more time in kiosks to be rented over and over. Several of Redbox's top films were domestic box-office disappointments, including the Johnny Depp-Angelina Jolie thriller "The Tourist" and Seth Rogen's action-comedy "The Green Hornet."
Redbox also released information on the Los Angeles market, where audiences were a little more interested in raunchy comedy and heady drama, along with movies with a local angle.
The R-rated Cameron Diaz comedy "Bad Teacher," released theatrically in June, was the third-most-popular Redbox film of the year in L.A., but didn't make the top 10 nationwide. Also making the top 10 in L.A. only were "Battle: Los Angeles" and the critically acclaimed and award-winning "The Social Network."
But not all kiosk rentals are equal. Studios that have signed agreements to let Redbox rent their DVDs at the same time that they go on sale had a clear advantage in the rankings. "Just Go With It" distributor Sony Pictures has such a deal with Redbox, as does "No Strings Attached" studio Paramount Pictures.
Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros., the three studios that mandate a 28-day delay for Redbox rentals after DVDs hit store shelves, captured only three of the top 10 spots nationwide. Executives at those studios believe Redbox's low-priced rentals undercut more profitable DVD sales and video-on-demand rentals.