Time Warner is the latest cable company to offer movies through its VOD service while those films are still in the theaters, just days after Universal/Comcast gave up on similar plans. Right now, the offerings consist of three movies — Melancholia, Trespass, and Margin Call; the latter two will launch on VOD simultaneously with their theatrical release, while Melancholia will be available several weeks before its US theatrical launch on November 11.
From the perspective of Time Warner, this is a first step at offering movies currently in the theaters, something its competitors have been attempting as well. Simultaneously, it's also adding value for its customers by offering some exclusive content. For the studios, deals such as this may become increasingly important as a way to open up additional revenue streams, as US box office revenues were flat year-over-year in 2010. Still, with only three movies available (and none that are expected to be blockbusters), this is just another small step towards enjoying first-run films from the comfort of home.