Facebook fans get to watch The Avengers early

Want to see The Avengers before it's released? You'll need to get a Facebook account and vote for your city. Alternatively, you can go to Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Houston, or Miami.

Disney's Marvel Studios today announced the highly-anticipated movie The Avengers will be screened early for Facebook users. There's a catch though: it won't be available to watch early on Facebook; instead, it will be viewable in select cities.

Marvel Studios announced the movie will offer advance screenings around the world in cities where The Avengers has gained the most Facebook Likes. Early screenings will start with shows in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Houston, and Miami on April 14, 2012. This is nearly three weeks before the film's May 4 debut in the U.S.

Here's where it gets interesting (especially for those who don't live in the U.S. and always get shafted on promotions like this one). Marvel is also planning another round of early screenings in five more cities. Facebook users will be able to vote for their city on The Avengers' Facebook Page (although at the time of writing the option was nowhere to be seen). Update: Here's the post in question: Facebook.

Admission will be available for free, and will work on a first-come, first-served basis. This is a recipe for pandemonium.

The entertainment industry continues to experiment with the best way to leverage Facebook (see links below). I hope these initiatives go well, because it would be great to see Facebook turn into a medium where you can watch, or at least get some sort of deal to see, both old and new releases.

The Avengers features Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) who are uniting to save the world from Loki (Tom Hiddleston).

Disney, Marvel, and the Avengers have 34.82 million Likes, 3.72 million Likes and 954,000 Likes, respectively.

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