Watch ‘The Dark Knight’ now on Facebook

Posted on February 28, 2011


By: Akshata Rao

As part of a path breaking venture in promotion and distribution of films Warner Bros and Facebook have announced a joint initiative, whereby movie fans will be able to rent films through the social network site. This is the first Hollywood studio to turn to the fast-growing social network as an online platform for its films.

The Dark Knight – 2008 Batman thriller, directed by Christopher Nolan starring Christian Bale and Heath Ledger, will be the first movie offered for rental on Facebook and can be watched at The movie’s Facebook page already has received more than 3.9 million “likes”. The rental fee is 30 Facebook Credits, or $3, and the movie can be viewed unlimited times during a 48-hour period, the Time Warner-owned studio said in a statement.

Thomas Gewecke, president of digital distribution at Warner Bros, told the AFP that, “Facebook has become a daily destination for hundreds of millions of people. Making our films available through Facebook is a natural extension of our digital distribution efforts.” He also said it gives consumers a simple, convenient way to access and enjoy our films through the world’s largest social network.

For the moment, service is only available in “certain regions” like the United States on a trial basis. A spokesperson from Warner Bros described the Facebook move as, “An experiment but said additional movie titles will soon be available for rental and purchase on a regular basis over the coming months.”

Shares in Netflix, which offers movies and television shows to subscribers over the Internet, took a hit on the news of Warner Bros.’ deal with Facebook and lost 5.76 percent to $195.45 on Wall Street. Netflix shares also fell last month after the Seattle; Washington-based online retail giant Amazon launched its own movie and television show streaming service.
Warner Bros said Facebook users will now be able to comment on the movie, interact with friends and update their status while watching the film.

Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst at eMarketer, says “The movie rentals are an attempt by Facebook to broaden its revenue sources beyond advertising, which accounts for more than 90 percent of the social network’s revenue.”
She adds, “Facebook is still looking for other revenue streams to back its core advertising business.”

Posted in: Film