Warner Bros. Starts Renting Films On Facebook

Now this is an interesting twist on things. Digital downloads have been on the rise in recent years, that's for sure. But streaming has been reserved mostly for set-top boxes and Web Browsers. Starting this week, Warner Bros. will begin to offer movies through Facebook. Facebook feels like a pretty random place to hawk movies, but then again, the site has hundreds of millions of users, so it's a pretty wide platform to advertise on.

For now, the studio is just testing out select movie rental / purchases through Facebook movie pages, and users will be able to use Facebook Credits to easily buy or rent a title, all while staying connected to Facebook. The first major film available through Facebook is The Dark Knight; consumers simply click on the “rent” icon to apply their Facebook Credits, and within seconds they will begin enjoying the film.  The cost per rental is 30 Facebook Credits or $3. This offering is presently available only to consumers in the United States.  Additional titles will be made available for rental and purchase on a regular basis over the coming months.

It's hard to say how well this will work out. People love movies, and people love Facebook, but at the same time? Folks have tried gaming and Facebook and fallen short before, and we get the feeling that people who really wish to spend money on a rental will just do so on their TV. But hey, it's Facebook, so it definitely has a shot at working out.

WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT BECOMES FIRST HOLLYWOOD STUDIO TO OFFER MOVIES DIRECTLY ON FACEBOOK®

MILLIONS OF WARNER BROS. FACEBOOK FANS CAN NOW RENT MOVIES USING FACEBOOK CREDITS AND STREAM WITHIN STUDIO’S MOVIE FAN PAGES

PROGRAM WILL EXPAND TO DIGITAL MOVIE PURCHASES IN THE NEAR FUTURE

BURBANK, CALIF., March 8, 2011 – Warner Bros. Digital Distribution (WBDD), a market leader in video-on-demand and electronic sell-through, today announced it will begin testing an offering of selected movies for purchase or rental through Warner Bros. Entertainment’s Facebook movie Pages.  Consumers will be able to use Facebook Credits to easily buy or rent a title, all while staying connected to Facebook.    

Starting today, millions of fans who “Liked” Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster film “The Dark Knight” can rent the title through its official Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/darkknight).  Consumers simply click on the “rent” icon to apply their Facebook Credits, and within seconds they will begin enjoying the film.  The cost per rental is 30 Facebook Credits or $3.  This offering is presently available only to consumers in the United States.  Additional titles will be made available for rental and purchase on a regular basis over the coming months.

“Facebook has become a daily destination for hundreds of millions of people,” said Thomas Gewecke, President of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution.  “Making our films available through Facebook is a natural extension of our digital distribution efforts.  It gives consumers a simple, convenient way to access and enjoy our films through the world’s largest social network.”

Fans will have full control over the film while watching it through their Facebook account for up to 48 hours from purchase.  They can choose to watch it in full screen, pause the movie, and resume playing it when they log back into Facebook.  Consumers will also have full Facebook functionality including the ability to post comments on the movie, interact with friends and update their status.     

“The Dark Knight”

The follow-up to “Batman Begins,” Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ “The Dark Knight” reunites director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale, who reprises the role of “Batman/Bruce Wayne” in his continuing war on crime. With the help of Lt. Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to destroy organized crime in Gotham for good. The triumvirate proves effective, but soon find themselves prey to a rising criminal mastermind known as The Joker, who thrusts Gotham into anarchy and forces Batman closer to crossing the fine line between hero and vigilante.

The film also stars Michael Caine as “Alfred”; Heath Ledger as “The Joker”; Gary Oldman as “Jim Gordon”; Aaron Eckhart as “Harvey Dent”; Maggie Gyllenhaal as “Rachel Dawes”; and Morgan Freeman as “Lucius Fox.”  Nolan directed the film from a screenplay written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer.  The producers are Charles Roven, Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan. 

Via:  Warner Bros.
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