This week finds Disney going toe-to-toe with Redbox and Amazon as it paves the way for its new streaming service. And since I was sick with the flu last week, we never got a chance to talk about those new trailers for Solo and Incredibles 2. That all changes this week. Also, Disney announced that kids ages 3 - 9 will eat free this summer. So does that mean there is no free dining for adults? We talk about it on the show.
Disney is back in court, working desperately to stop Redbox before Black Panther comes out. After a judge rejected Disney's request for an injunction to keep Redbox from selling digital download codes at deep discounts, Disney went back to the drawing board on its legal language for its combo packs.
Disney codes used to just say that they were not for sale or transfer, which didn't hold up in court. The new injunction motion states, "To redeem a Code...a user must represent that he or she, or a member of his or her family, 'obtained the [C]ode in an original disc + code package [i.e., a Combo Pack] and the [C]ode was not purchased separately.'"
I'm not a lawyer, but I doubt that this will satisfy the judge. Initially, the judge ruled that Disney was trying to control the transfer of physical copies of discs, a move that is not covered by the Copyright Act. Now Disney appears to be trying to control the physical transfer of digital copies of movies. What if a friend buys Thor 2 and sells me the Digital code for $1. Am I breaking Disney's copyright by downloading the copy on my Disney Movies Anywhere?
If we really do create our own enemies, then Redbox is a monster of Disney's making. Had the studio agreed to a distribution agreement, this situation would never have happened. Which reminds me of another beast...
Amazon and Disney have been having a quiet feud over distribution as well. It all stems back to 2014, when Amazon asked for a larger cut of sales. Disney said no and since that time, Disney fans have run into peculiar issues when searching for films. For example, Amazon -- which controls an estimated 40 percent of online sales -- is only allowing Prime members to buy The Last Jedi.
Disney is betting that consumers will view the inconvenience as a major annoyance, leave their beloved Amazon to find copies of movies elsewhere, and be so disgruntled that Amazon will be forced to come running back to Disney. On the other hand, Amazon is hoping fans love Disney content enough to pay a premium to get it from Amazon. Both of those views are wrong.
Consumers are already viewing this as an inconvenience, but not enough for customers to undercut Amazon just yet (More on that later). Disney content is great, but it'snot the only fish in the sea. Disney needs Amazon to suggest its toys, movies, and other items to keep sales booming. After all, it's not like Consumer Products is raking in the dough for the company.
Still, Amazon also needs to be careful. Feud's with Google and Disney are causing customers to question whether or not the store really goes from A to Z. This is already taking a toll as Amazon fell out of the top 10 of global websites for the first time -- and that's according to Amazon's own data. In fact, they aren't even the world's top online retailer for now. We'll see if that changes as these feuds continue.
Did you want free dining? Well, you've got it...just maybe not in the way you wanted it. Disney recently announced kids would eat free at Walt Disney World during trips from May 28 - August 30. Of course, there are restrictions. This is Disney we're talking about. The offer is valid on kids ages 3 - 9. You have to have a Magic Your Way package and stay in certain rooms, but the point is free dining is here.
What remains to be seen is whether grown-ups will get free dinings. Every year for the past few years, Disney has released free dinings to entice people to come to Disney World and stay on property. That's a point that a lot of people miss. Disney does this to increase its own bottom line, not just for goodwill. There is no way Disney loses money on this promotion.
Now hotels are filled, parks are crowded and getting a reservation takes more than a light coating of Pixie dust. You better dump the entire jar on your head if you want Cinderella's Royal Table or Be Our Guest. Point is, Disney no longer needs free dining, but I think they haven't needed it for a while. Instead of being a tool to attract guests who normally wouldn't come, free dining is now a way to spread out crowds. If we can get the people who would have come in July to come in August instead, it makes vacations less crowded for everyone. Whatever revenue is "lost" on free dining is recouped through room requirements. Again, there is no way Disney is losing money on this promotion.
That said, Free dining is just another tool in Disney's belt. The moment it stops becoming useful is the moment you won't see it again. I don't think that will happen this year.
Finally, an exciting trailer for Solo. I was less than impressed the teaser that came out for this movie, but now that we are starting to get some real plot points I am finally excited to see what's in store. Take a look at the trailer below:
This is another movie that looks to blow the doors off the box office. We've been waiting more than a decade for a sequel to The Incredibles, and it looks like the film we are going to get will be more than equal to the original. Pay close attention to Violet's development. Her powers have grown so much more than in the first movie. Gone is the shy, uncertain little girl. I think she may be the most interesting character in the movie.