Warner Bros. expands Facebook video on demand movie trial, offers 5 new titles

Early results for its test with VOD partner Facebook apparently have been promising enough to prompt Warner Bros. to expand its trial of offering movies for rental on the social network.

The company Monday made five additional titles--Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Inception, Life as We Know It and Yogi Bear--available through each film's official Facebook Page for rental using Facebook Credits. Earlier this month, Warner Bros. announced it was offering The Dark Knight to Facebook users for 30 Facebook credits, or $3, for a 48-hour rental. The company at the time said it would likely broaden the trial. It's moved quickly.

"We're pleased to expand our test with a variety of titles that will appeal to a broad audience," said President of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution Thomas Gewecke. "These titles have substantial followings on Facebook. The Fan Pages for ‘Harry Potter' and ‘Inception' alone are two of the most popular and active communities on the site."

As with Dark Knight, users will have full control over the film while watching it; 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.

This isn't Facebook's first foray into the VOD world. In addition to clips and trailers that populate the site, Facebook also hosted the PBS documentary Earth Days last year, where it was available to users before it aired on TV.

Amazon and Redbox also recently announced streaming initiatives to challenge Netflix, which with 20 million subscribers is, at the moment, in the catbird seat for the segment.

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