Filmmaker Joss Whedon has been surprising fans with lavish gifts as a thank you for viewing his latest film online.

Last month (Apr14) The Avengers director debuted his movie In Your Eyes at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, and then released it online as a Vimeo.com rental minutes later.

Now Whedon has surprised fans once again by rewarding a random selection of 1,000 viewers with gifts, including Apple Tvs, Xbox One consoles, grills and potted cacti.

Fans from all over the world have been receiving the gifts, which also extend to autographed posters and thank-you videos from the cast of the film.

In Your Eyes producer Michael Roiff tells Buzzfeed.com that the proceeds from the film are covering the unconventional thank you process, and Whedon plans to continue sending gifts and keep the buzz for the film going so that more people watch it.

He explains, "The idea was we're doing something a little different, and we just want to say thank you... This is working out, and we want to say thanks and give something back, and try to keep people talking so we can keep doing it this way.

"Usually, there are so many layers of people saying, 'No, you can’t do that'. It’s so cool to have people write back and say, 'This is awesome!' It's been a lot of fun."