Universal to Offer 'The Big Lebowski' for Rent on Facebook

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The cult classic will launch the studio's Social Theater application.

Universal is using the cult classic The Big Lebowski to launch its Social Theater application on Facebook.

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The app allows viewers to rent the movie directly through the film’s Facebook fan page, where they can also participate in a communal viewing experience by contributing “likes” and comments while also monitoring the comments from other friends of the movie.

The rental offering is timed to coincide with the movie’s release on Blu-Ray, which is in stores now.

To mark the film's Blu-Ray debut, the movie’s star, Jeff Bridges, aka The Dude, and other actors from the film, directed by the Coen brothers, appeared Tuesday night in New York at the Armstrong Ballroom for a Q&A, where John Goodman said of the movie’s ongoing popularity, “I guess people just like to get high and watch it. That’s all I can tell you.”

On Facebook, Lebowski fans can rent the movie for a 48-hour period for 30 Facebook Credits, which are the equivalent of $3. In addition, users who rent the film will be able to pass along a $1 discount off the rental for up to five friends through Facebook’s “Buy With Friends” platform. 

NBCUniversal developed the Social Theater technology with F-commerce developer Milyoni.