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Universal Pulls a "Netflix Rewind"

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Like its streaming video brethren, Universal has backpedaled on an unconscionably boneheaded decision.

On Monday, Netflix announced it has killed plans to branch off DVD rentals onto a different site and brand named Qwikster -- disappointing those who hoped to see a hastened demise of physical media through unnecessary complications. And just three days later, Universal has decided to quash an experiment which would allow folks to rent an Eddie Murphy movie for $60.

Quick: Which plan was more fraught with disaster?

Last week, Universal dipped a toe in a crazy new revenue scheme by offering to stream the upcoming Ben Stiller-Eddie Murphy vehicle Tower Heist a mere three weeks after hitting the theaters. This exclusive and nonsensical experiment would have been conducted on Comcast customers in Atlanta and Portland.

The cost: Only six sawbucks.

The studio's hopes were to target that elusive demographic that would normally race out to catch an Eddie Murphy movie but are consistently disappointed with how inexpensive theater tickets are. Universal reasons that with dinner, parking, gas, and Twizzlers, you'd be spending that already.

But then chose to use an Eddie Murphy movie as bait.

However, Universal has come to its senses and realizes $60 might be a tad steep for a movie rental. Of course, as AllThingsD reports, the handful movie theaters that threatened to boycott the movie if the plan were to take place may have forced Universal's hand.

The lesson: Never try to screw customers more than businesses who make a living out of screwing customers.

(See also: Google Engineer Calls Google+ a Complete Failure and How to Use Siri on Apple's iPhone 4S)

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