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DIVX is Dead Day 5th Anniversary

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Wayne Bundrick, Jun 16, 2004.

  1. Robert Dunnill

    Robert Dunnill Second Unit

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    Yes, it's true that one Divx title (Madigan) sold less than 20 copies (nine, to be exact), and Alice sold only 50. In contrast, a number of hot new releases of the day had had five-figure sales on Divx by early June 1999, including The Waterboy (32,125), There's Something About Mary (45,933), and Six Days, Seven Nights (35,673).

    If those figures vindicate anything, it's DVD File's primer on home video software pricing (which asserted that some popular titles were unsuitable for the rental market). [​IMG] Seriously, the reason these titles (and a lot of others) were released to the format was because Divx was trying to build up a catalog, even one where most of the titles had modest rental appeal.

    My highly-placed inside sources insisted that the reticence of Paramount and Dreamworks was mainly due to a combination of copy protection worries and wait-and-see. Because Divx paid up-front for the rights to license any titles, anything released to them should have been win-win for the studios, but Paramount and Dreamworks did not see it that way.

    For those who remember, it would be some time before those two studios fully supported the DVD format, and bitter debates raged among enthusiasts as to why so many Spielberg A-titles were witheld from the premier home video format.

    RD
     
  2. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    In June 2000, a year after Divx died, Richard Sharp stepped down as CEO of Circuit City but remained as chairman until June 2002. Then in October 2002, Circuit City's CarMax business separated from Circuit City and Sharp became chairman of CarMax.

    So there you have it. He's selling used cars.
     
  3. Neil S. Bulk

    Neil S. Bulk Screenwriter

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    Ahhhhhhh, the good ol' days. When DVD was an interesting, new format.

    Neil
     
  4. Robert Anthony

    Robert Anthony Producer

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    I started working in the Circuit City warehouse near the dying days of DiVX. Apparently we had lax managers--because the kids out on the salesfloor weren't even pushing it. We all knew it was bullshit. The DVD section was EXPLODING, and the DIVX was sitting in a couple standees. Near the end, the DIVX section was one of our warehouse push carts with a sign taped to the front.

    And then, when they didn't sell for 99 cents a pop, I got to throw them in the trash compactor. that was pretty funny. I remember the big memo that went around the company talking about the refunds and the rebates customers would be eligible to get after buying this failed format, and marking down all the DIVX players to rock bottom (they still played regular DVD's, so it was a decent deal)

    DIVX pretty much crippled that company. I saw it from the inside--all kinds of new policies and rules started coming down after that, and I watched plenty of people end up getting shoved out (me included) because of the money they lost over DIVX and their piece of the pie getting eaten up by Best Buy. Circuit City's never been the same. It was their one huge gamble--and they lost so big. Now they're pretty much a supersize Radio Shack.
     
  5. soop.spoon

    soop.spoon Supporting Actor

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    Thought I'd drop in and post the remaining "DIVX only" releases from back in the day. I've been tracking this list for 5 years now and I've watched it slowly dwindle (from well over 100).

    We're down to 21 now:

    Buena Vista (5):
    Jack (coming soon)
    Ed Wood (coming soon)
    Marcenary 2: Thick And Thin
    Rocketman
    Shall We Dance?

    20th Century Fox (3):
    Bad Girls
    Oscar & Lucinda
    Two For The Road

    MGM (3):
    12 Angry Men (remake)
    Mulholland Falls
    Son Of The Pink Panther

    MGM/Orion (4):
    Evidence Of Blood
    I Love You Don't Touch Me!
    Paperback Romance
    This World, Then The Fireworks

    Universal (6):
    High Art
    Kiss Or Kill
    Pure Luck
    Safe Men
    Soldier's Daughter Never Cries, A
    TwentyFourSeven
     
  6. Robert Dunnill

    Robert Dunnill Second Unit

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    High Art is slated for a summer release, while Soldier's Daughter has been released to R1 DVD in the past, but is now out of print (Amazon has 34 used copies, if you want one).

    RD
     
  7. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Did DIVX ever do that, pay a one time fee disc?
    If they did, do those sucker's still play?
     
  8. Travis Hedger

    Travis Hedger Supporting Actor

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    Has it been that long already? Wow.
     
  9. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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    Gadzooks. I'm having flashbacks to the E-Town forums.

    Say it with me now...

    FOX IS IN!!!!!

    Good days, good days. How far we've come.

    Ryan
     
  10. Robert Dunnill

    Robert Dunnill Second Unit

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    There was a sell-through variant of Divx called DivxGold, but no DivxGold discs were ever marketed to the public. One title (Mulan) was prepared for a DivxGold release, and in fact was ready for mass replication, but Divx management (not Disney) ruled against releasing it for fear of starting a format war.

    RD
     
  11. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    So, whatever happened to Dick Sharp? I was in McDonald's the other day, and the guy making fries looked damned familiar, but I couldn't really be sure...
     
  12. Robert Dunnill

    Robert Dunnill Second Unit

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    I think he left the company, VERY rich.
     
  13. Richard_D_Ramirez

    Richard_D_Ramirez Second Unit

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    Hehe! and I was mistakenly thinking about the DivX video codec! Wow, I had totally forgot about the DIVX disc format until I saw this thread!

    8^B
     
  14. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    I remember those ads. They never actually explained what DIVX was, though.
     
  15. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    See post #22. He became chairman of CarMax when CarMax became a separate company apart from Circuit City.
     
  16. Greg Black

    Greg Black Second Unit

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    Man, my parents are pissed that there's no Two For The Road on DVD. [​IMG]
     
  17. Robert Dunnill

    Robert Dunnill Second Unit

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    Used copies can be had on LD. I wonder if Fox has any plans to release it to DVD?

    Considering all the fluff that's been released to DVD in the five years since Divx was pulled, you'd think that this worthy and memorable title could have been given at least a bare-bones release.

    RD
     
  18. Aaron Garman

    Aaron Garman Second Unit

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    I remember the Circuit City salesman that was selling us our first DVD player trying everything he could to get us to buy into DIVX. Being the informed consumer I was at the time in 1998, I totally dissed everything he said about how "good" DIVX was. As for that first DVD player...it's still sitting in my audio rack and is still spinning after all these years. Thanks Pioneer!

    AJG
     
  19. DouglasRobert

    DouglasRobert Second Unit

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    I still don't shop at Circuit City because of DIVX.

    If Circuit City has a better deal, I'll use their advertisement to price match at another store.

    DIVX died the quick death it deserved. Too bad it wasn't quicker!
     
  20. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    Did anyone ever figure out a way to copy files from a DIVX disc onto a computer and play them? (Or could DVD-ROM drives even read the discs?)
     

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