In terms of business rivalries, Netflix probably isn’t too worried about Blockbuster. The video rental company filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and closed nearly all of its stores in 2013. (Though one still exists in Bend, Oregon.)
But in terms of snarky comments on Twitter? Blockbuster is ready to play.
Two days later, Blockbuster decided to have some fun with the news on its Twitter account, posting this editorial commentary: “A friendly reminder that when you used to rent videos from us. We didn’t care who you shared it with… As long as you returned it on time.”
A friendly reminder that when you used to rent videos from us. We didn’t care who you shared it with… As long as you returned it on time. @netflix
— Blockbuster (@blockbuster) May 25, 2023
While the post sparked supportive comments from people who remembered Blockbuster fondly, the company also had some shade thrown right back at them.
“Wow are you guys still in business? What do you do?” was the sarcastic response from @justredpillme.
Then @andrew0i0d provided the answer: “They post on social media.”
And plenty of people made jokes about the late fees they probably still owed and about having to rewind videotapes, like @nftpowerranking.
Bruh you used to charge me $699 for being 3 days late what you virtue signaling about
— NFT POWER RANKINGS (@nftpowerranking) May 25, 2023
But the folks operating Blockbuster’s Twitter account weren’t done.
On June 13, Netflix announced its plans to showcase some of its cooking shows by opening a pop-up restaurant in which diners can eat cuisine from celebrity chefs like Curtis Stone and Rodney Scott.
Blockbuster commented, “As with password sharing @Netflix will kick you out of the restaurant if you share anything from your plate.”
— Blockbuster (@blockbuster) June 14, 2023
Netflix did not take the bait. (Its own Twitter feed is full of promos for its shows.) But there were some pretty hilarious replies from other commenters — seems like many other fans had the same thought when they heard about the streaming service’s foray into dining.
@Mr_Good_Enough, for example, showcased some signs it expected Netflix to have at every table of the pop-up establishment:
Netflix: Signs are posted at every table… pic.twitter.com/nDKvHhZsIl
— J. Mac (@Mr_Good_Enough) June 14, 2023
“Absolutely loving Blockbuster’s villain era,” posted @AF29858391.
Other commenters tried to convince Blockbuster to make a comeback. “I believe in a @blockbuster comebackkkkk,” wrote @Sigma_Monark. “i probably owe some money for the american gladiator game i should have returned in 1998.”
Another commenter reminded Blockbuster of a business decision they may now be regretting: “I’m old enough to remember when you had the opportunity to buy Netflix,” wrote jomilo86. “Best decision you never made.”
Blockbuster did indeed decline an offer to buy Netflix for $50 million in 2000.
Netflix isn’t above taking potshots of its own, though. Co-founder Reed Hastings has claimed the original video-rentals-by-mail concept of Netflix was inspired by a $40 late fine he received from Blockbuster for “Apollo 13” — but his partner, Marc Randolph, says that was a story they invented for marketing purposes.
Oh, how the tables have turned.