Posted by: daveed | January 25, 2010

Movie maps

File this under way cool: The New York Times recently published a fascinating interactive map of Netflix rental habits for major metropolitan areas across the country, organized by zip code.

The results are to be expected, but for one puzzling trend. Except for a few odd holdouts (yeah, I’m looking at you, you non-conformists in 07522), the number one rental in all these areas during 2009 was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. That means from South Beach to the Back Bay, all the way to the Windy City and beyond, this is what most urbanites chose to see on their television screens:

Huh? Metro-friendly films like Milk or Slumdog Millionaire, I can see—both are strong contenders on the Netflix list. But it’s hard to imagine how this film, which got respectable, if not glowing reviews, and which didn’t break even at the domestic box office (did it really cost $150 million??) could be so universally popular on home video. It defies rational analysis…

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