Facebook streaming movie trial sets sights on Netflix

The Warner Bros. blockbuster The Dark Knight has become the first title to be made available for rental on Facebook, giving us our first glimpse of what ultimately could be a truly disruptive home entertainment product. Executives at Netflix, Hulu, Redbox and other similar services were no doubt squirming in their seats on Tuesday morning following the announcement that users can now use Facebook credits to rent The Dark Knight for $3. One rented, the movie can be streamed directly from the movie’s Facebook fan page for 48 hours. “Facebook has become a daily destination for hundreds of millions of people,” said Thomas Gewecke, President of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, in a statement. “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.” Warner Bros. said it also plans to make digital movies available for purchase via Facebook. Hit the break for Warner Bros.’ full press release.

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

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.

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