It's no fun running a DVD shop these days.

Shares of Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) took a 21% hit yesterday, after a Wall Street Journal report claimed that the entertainment retailer is angling to secure debtor-in-possession financing. That's the short-term financing of last resort for a company when bankruptcy reorganization is in the cards.

Owning Blockbuster has had as many twists as a Keanu Reeves action flick -- but ultimately with the same hollow performances. The chain's stock took a hit last month, too, after Blockbuster warned of "execution risks" in its turnaround strategy.

Optical discs aren't dead as rentals. Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) hit a new all-time high yesterday, and Coinstar's (Nasdaq: CSTR) Redbox is growing even faster. Movie Gallery's liquidation was supposed to be a market share-gobbling opportunity for Blockbuster, but now it may simply be a taste of things to come.

Jockeying for bankruptcy isn't always fatal, but common-share holders need to be prepared for the likelihood of being wiped out if Blockbuster goes that route.

In the bankruptcy arena,Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) is a rare success story. It warned investors about the possibility of a bankruptcy filing, just days before Liberty Capital (Nasdaq: LCAPA) saved Sirius investors with a dilutive but ultimately lifesaving infusion. Sirius, the company and stock, hasn't looked back since then.

At this point, Blockbuster probably needs a Liberty Capital, but who will be its sugar daddy? Rivals would simply gain market share in Blockbuster's absence. The company is doing some neat things in terms of kiosks and digital delivery, but its bread-and-butter business remains in stores, and this is something that no sane acquirer would consider.

NCR (NYSE: NCR) is its best shot at survival. The ATM giant has bankrolled thousands of Blockbuster Express kiosks. Those licensed Redbox-esque machines could take a hit if consumers who don't know the difference between chapters 7 and 11 read that Blockbuster was filing for bankruptcy protection.

The rub is that Liberty Capital had -- and has -- a legitimate interest in satellite-fueled broadcasting. NCR would step in only to save a brand name.

The next few days will be interesting. Blockbuster's annual shareholder meeting is now just a week away, and testy investors fearing that this may be the last yearly gathering are likely to be vocal.

Will Blockbuster file for bankruptcy protection this summer? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been a Netflix shareholder -- and subscriber -- since 2002. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.