Redbox’s owner files for bankruptcy after repeatedly missing payments and payroll

Redbox’s owner, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, filed for bankruptcy protection overnight. This comes at the tail end of a month in which the DVD rental company defaulted on loans, saw an order for its cars to be repossessed, and missed payroll for employees.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment informed employees of the filing late Friday, writing in an email seen by The Verge that it had filed for a debtor-in-possession loan — a way for companies that are reorganizing after filing for bankruptcy to secure additional working capital to meet payroll. 

It’s a pressing matter for the company, as employees have been waiting for paychecks since June 21st. The company also promised to reinstate health insurance for his employees, which had lapsed in May.

However, it’s not certain that the company will be able to secure such a loan. Chicken Soup’s bankruptcy filing shows that the company owes money to a number of retailers including Walmart and Walgreens, as well as major Hollywood studios like Universal, Sony, Lionsgate and Warner Bros.

Other creditors include smaller studios, streaming platforms, and smart TV manufacturers, with the list of names including the BBC, Vizio, and Plex; Redbox and Chicken Soup-owned Crackle have been operating their own free, ad-supported streaming services on a variety of platforms. The company also owes money to its landlords, the vendor it rents its car fleet from, and others.

Chicken Soup took on $325 million in debt when it acquired Redbox in 2022 and has since been sued over a dozen times over unpaid bills. The company recently settled one of those lawsuits with NBCUniversal but promptly missed the first agreed-upon payment, leading to a court order to pay the entire $16.7 million balance. Altogether, Chicken Soup has $970 million in debt, according to the bankruptcy filing.

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