Batman on his Bat-Pod in Warner Bros. Pictures� and Legendary Pictures� action drama �The Dark Knight,� distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Morgan Freeman. PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE USED SOLELY FOR ADVERTISING, PROMOTION, PUBLICITY OR REVIEWS OF THIS SPECIFIC MOTION PICTURE AND TO REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE STUDIO. NOT FOR SALE OR REDISTRIBUTION.
NOTE: TechCrunch seems to think this is not actually a partnership between Facebook and Warner Bros., but that the movie company has simply created an app, that happens to be a movie rental app.
"The Dark Knight" will rent for $3 or 30 Facebook credits, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Viewers who rent the film will be given 48 hours to watch it and still have full Facebook functionality. The 2008 film starring Christian Bale as Batman is considered a test for the Hollywood studio -- and its first attempt at direct-to-Facebook rentals.
"Facebook has become a daily destination for hundreds of millions of people," Thomas Gewecke, president of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, told THR. "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."
If the rental is a success, Warner Bros. plans on rolling out other titles along with direct movie sales on Facebook.
It makes sense that the next step for Facebook is actual goods -- it's already done well with virtual ones. While I'm not sure a three-year-old movie is the best choice for a test market on Facebook, at least it signifies a change in how movie studios and social media will do business.