Holy Streaming, Batman! 'Dark Knight' on Facebook
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Warner Bros. is bringing movie rentals to Facebook, the first Hollywood studio to turn to the fast-growing social network as an online platform for its films.
"The Dark Knight," the 2008 Batman thriller directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale, will be the first movie offered for rental on Facebook, the studio said, and can be watched at facebook.com/darkknight.
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.
For the moment, only Facebook members in the United States can rent the movie.
Hollywood studios have been looking at various services to distribute movies online, including Amazon, Netflix, Apple's iTunes, Hulu, YouTube and others, but Warner Bros. is the first to offer its film on Facebook, which has more than 500 million members around the world.
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. described the Facebook move as an experiment but said additional movie titles will be 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. …