Lionsgate offers newest release ‘Abduction’ on Facebook

Lionsgate has made its 2011 thriller “Abduction” available for streaming on Facebook for $3.99. This is the first time a studio has released a film on DVD and Facebook simultaneously.

Users can purchase 48-hour access to the movie that will stream from a Facebook canvas app, Lionsgate Social Cinema. The app accepts credit cards and PayPal, but does not include Facebook Credits as an option, even though it does so for a number of older titles. Facebook takes 30 percent of transactions with Credits.

Warner Bros. was first to bring movie rentals to Facebook in March 2011, when it made The Dark Knight available for 30 Credits, or $3. It later offered “Inception,” two “Harry Potter” titles and other films for streaming. Lionsgate has made popular films like “The Blair Witch Project” and “Saw” available for Facebook rental, but no studio has offered a release as new as “Abduction” on the social network.

The action movie had weak box office performance and was widely panned by critics. Lionsgate is probably hoping to capitalize on star Taylor Lautner’s large online following. As of this writing, though, there was no mention of the rental on Lautner’s official Facebook page. The Abduction page has made two posts today to its more than 991,000 fans, but getting a mention on Lautner’s page with more than 12 million fans could give the effort a huge boost.

Like other Facebook rental plans, “Abduction” is available to users for 48 hours, during which time they can pause, rewind and play as many times as they wish. Users can leave Facebook and come back to the movie, but they have to do so using the same account. People who rent the film will also get access to trivia and an exclusive interview with Lautner.