The next big thing in home entertainment has arrived at Redbox: 4K! I sat down with Lori Flynn, our VP of Content, to learn more.


Just so everyone’s on the same page, what is 4K?

LF: 4K, or 4K UHD (Ultra High Definition), is an extraordinarily clear type of screen resolution. The 4K is referring to how there’s about 4,000 pixels across the screen. In general that’s 4 times more than typical resolutions!

If someone has a 4K UHD player, a 4K-UHD enabled TV and the correct HDMI cables, they can enjoy movies that truly look and feel just like they would if screened in a theater. It’s amazing.

Is 4K something only tech savvy people are into?

Nope! The 4K format launched in 2016, and ever since we’ve been keeping track of how many households are 4K-equipped. It turns out that purchases of 4K movies have actually outpaced the initial launch of Blu-ray™ discs a little over a decade ago. According to Digital Entertainment Group’s (DEG) latest annual report, by the end of March 2018, over 9 million families had a 4K UHD player — either through a set-top device or a game console.

So how is Redbox responding to this new format?

We’ve been watching the explosive growth of 4K and knew from DEG’s report that 4K movies generated $147 million in sales last year, which was nearly double the number of sales when the format first hit the market in 2016.

So we were aware that consumer interest is out there, which is why we’re thrilled to be launching 4K Blu-ray discs in 6 major markets this week! Up until now, you could really only purchase 4K movies. We’re proud to be a leader in offering customers the ability to rent them.

What are the 6 markets where movies fans will have the 4K option?

  1. Seattle, Washington
  2. Los Angeles, California
  3. Austin, Texas
  4. Detroit, Michigan
  5. New York City, New York
  6. Miami, Florida

We’ll have 2,600 Boxes across these cities offering 4K movies!

Do you know which movies will be available in 4K?

Yes! We’re kicking things off this week with Black Panther, The Commuter, The Martian and The Matrix.

Each week we’ll be adding at least one movie into the 4K mix. Some that I know of on the calendar over the next few months are Red Sparrow, Pacific Rim (2013), Pacific Rim: Uprising, Tomb Raider and Inception.

Why launch 4K now, aside from the fact that you knew we’ve reached the tipping point of 4K adoption?

We really wanted to launch with a showcase movie that would do 4K justice — that was worthy of the technology, you might say. Black Panther is that movie. Aside from smashing box office records around the world and just being an incredible film overall, it’s a highly visual movie where there’s lots to take in and a ton of action. Movies like that are made for 4K because on top of the crystal clear resolution, there’s immersive audio and the full color spectrum on display. 4K truly mirrors the theater experience.

You’ll notice that the other 4K movies we’ll be offering fit that same criteria: they’re all popular movies with dazzling visuals. I can’t wait to see how our customers respond!

What’s next for 4K at Redbox?

We’re closely monitoring how things are going with the 4K launch in those 6 pilot markets and then deciding how we might expand from there, so stay tuned!