Facebook, Warner team on "Watchmen" promo

Tue May 12, 2009 2:21pm EDT
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By Carl DiOrio

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Warner Bros. has some new friends at Facebook.

In an industry first, the studio's Warner Home Video unit is set to announce this week a plan to sync up "friend" networks on Facebook with the interactive community-screening features of Warners' Blu-ray Disc releases, starting with the release of "Watchmen Director's Cut."

The studio partnership with the social network Web site will use the BD-Live interactive feature on high-def discs, allowing "Watchmen" purchasers to view the film simultaneously and share comments with their Facebook friends.

BD-Live has always allowed such "community screenings" via its "buddy list" function. But those lists now can be synched with Facebook's friend networks for immediate access to a broad network of acquaintances.

Another new Blu-ray feature -- dubbed Warner Bros. Maximum Movie Mode -- will allow split-screen viewing of "Watchmen" to focus on elements in director Zack Snyder's on-camera commentary.

The partnership is strategic only, with no money changing hands between the parties.

"We want to do this partnership with Facebook because research has shown that consumers want to have social networking capabilities with BD-Live," said Kris Brown, vp worldwide high definition at Warner Home Video. "Previously, those possibilities have been limited to your friends within BD-Live and the general BD-Live community."

The Facebook arrangement will require users to buy and play Blu-ray disc copies of the film. But it will pack a big promo wallop for Warners and should also help spread the Blu-ray gospel, when those watching "Watchmen" and the studio's other movies offer live commentary to their Facebook friends.   Continued...

<p>Film director Zack Snyder holds his award for Director of the Year during the ShoWest Award show at the Paris Las Vegas resort in Las Vegas, Nevada April 2, 2009. REUTERS/Steve Marcus</p>