Warner to Rent Movies Through Facebook

No, you can't get “The Social Network” (that's Sony's movie), but Warner's digital distribution unit will let you rent movies like “The Dark Knight” using 30 Facebook credits ($3)

Who needs Facebook friends when you can watch movies?

Warner Bros. has become the first movie studio to offer movie rentals through Facebook, offering Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" for viewing through the social network for the cost of 30 Facebook credits ($3 in the non-Mark Zuckerberg world).

Starting immediately, aspiring movie watchers (aren't we all?) can visit http://www.facebook.com/darkknight and click on a "rent" button. Within seconds, they'll be watching Chrisian Bale act his Academy Award-winning fanny off with stop, pause and play ability.

According to Warner officials, other titles will become available for digital viewing on Facebook shortly.

“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.”

Last month, Warner Bros. launched "app editions" of "Inception" and "The Dark Knight" — offering free downloads of applications that give consumers with iPhones, iPads and iPods in 23 countries without access to iTunes downloads the ability to do so.

Here's the full Warner announcement:

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.