Marvel’s blockbuster Captain America: The Winter Soldier won’t be available on Blu-ray for another three weeks, but fans of the franchise can grab the movie for $19.99 right now on the iTunes Store as part of an early release deal.
The movie, which takes its influence as much from political thrillers as more traditional popcorn-friendly superhero fare, is the followup to last year’s Captain America: The First Avenger and the subsequent team-up film The Avengers.
It’s not the first time a studio has timed the iTunes release of a movie ahead its physical media counterpart. Last year Star Trek Into Darkness got the same treatment three weeks before it hit store shelves. Typically movies will debut in both formats around the same time, with services like Netflix being forced to wait even longer to get them. It’s certainly interesting to see a subtle shift in priorities for some of the more popular movies.