McDonald's Red Box Movie Rental

open dvd case

Find out how to get movies for just one dollar a night with McDonald's Red Box movie rentals.

How McDonald's Red Box Movie Rentals Started

Red Box is a subsidiary of McDonald's Corporation and operates over 8,000 automated red kiosks around the country from which people can rent DVDs on the spot. Here's how it works:

  • Go to the Red Box website - Sign up to become a member or Red Box free of charge.
  • Reserve your movie online - You can peruse the movie offerings online and reserve whichever one you choose before you go to pick it up.
  • Pick up your movie at any Red Box location - While at the kiosk, you enter your information, swipe your credit or debit card and your movie pops out for you.

The Competition

With less than 10,000 kiosks, it wouldn't seem as though this small movie rental kiosk could compete with the likes of Blockbuster, Hollywood Video and Netflix, but they do. Marketing toward families with children is status quo for the McDonald's corporation and the placement and marketing of Red Box kiosks is no exception.

Along with placing them at their McDonald's restaurants, they place the majority of their kiosks in places where moms and dad frequent at least once a week: grocery stores.

How Red Box Rentals Work

All Red Box movies, including those offered at McDonald's cost one dollar per night, plus tax if applicable. Here are some other rules to a McDonald's Red Box movie rental:

  • The rental period is one night - All movies must be returned to a Red Box kiosk by nine o'clock (your local time) the following night after it was rented. If you return the movie late, you will be charged one dollar per day for each day, up to $25. If you don't return the movie within 25 days, you own it.
  • The kiosks do not accept cash payments - Only credit or debit cards can be used at these machines.
  • You can return the movies to any Red Box kiosk and not just the one from which you got your movie - If you picked up your movie at McDonald's, you don't have to return it to the same place. Instead, you can return it at any Red Box kiosk without penalty.

Major Drawback

Even though Red Box boasts all the new releases and you can order these movies online, there is still no guarantee that the movie is going to be stocked in the Red Box location nearest you. If you are picking up a large fry at your local McDonald's and decide to spontaneously rent a movie simply because it's so easy, you may be slightly disappointed at the limited selections the Red Box kiosk has to offer. The problem is obvious. These kiosks, which are the size of large vending machines, can only hold so many movies. Red Box assures the public that the machines are stocked regularly and all new releases go in on Tuesdays, but still, the lack of selection has been a common complaint amongst Red Box users.

Red Box Locations

Aside from McDonald's, here are some other locations where you'll find a Red Box kiosk:

  • Giant food store locations
  • Stop and Shop stores
  • Albertson's
  • Supervalu
  • Safeway
  • Kroger
  • Food Lion
  • Publix

Growing Success

Red Box and McDonald's officials state that the demand for their big red movie kiosks is growing and have plans to place over 1,000 more kiosks at area McDonald's and grocery stores around the country. Red Box is currently ranked by the Entertainment Merchants Association as the fifth largest video software dealer in the country. Considering that online movie rental giant Netflix only enjoys about 16 percent of this $33 billion dollar a year industry's market share, Red Box isn't doing too badly. Make no mistake, it will never be a "Blockbuster" but it will sure give "Blockbuster", with it's high rental fees and old rules of having to rent and return movies to the same location, a run for it's money--and customers.

McDonald's Red Box Movie Rental