Have you ever wondered what other people in your neighborhood might be renting on DVD? I know when I see someone holding a red Netflix envelope I always wish I had x-ray vision to see which disc was inside. The NYT have a fascinating map about rentals by region in 2009. Apparently The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was the #1 most rented overall. But it's fun to flip through various cities to see how a movies popularity shifts from region to region and even zip codes. For example, in my neighborhood (Harlem) Doubt, ...Button and The Soloist (???) were the top dvds. Weirdness.
The Coen Bros Burn After Reading is popular in NYC but even more popular just across the East River in Brooklyn. Deep deep red in one spot so I clicked over to confirm: hipster Williamsburg. Of course!
Zeéeeee's latest "movie" New in Town was a funny example. It was pretty unpopular in any urban areas but totally unpopular in San Francisco and Oakland... Much more rental friendly in Minnesota which happens to be the very place found in the movie that teaches city girl Renée how to let her flat-ironed big city hair loose.
Mostly these maps just confirmed what we already know. Mainstream hits are popular in suburbs and divisive artier films are much more popular in densely populated areas. Take the world's most improbable double feature: Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Rachel Getting Married. They're almost polar opposites.
Practically no one on the island of Manhattan cared to rent the comedy. Is that because we don't have malls? (No, the "Mall of Manhattan" doesn't count). But parts of New Jersey were totally into it. Those same parts were not about to put up with Kym's emotionally complex shenanigans in Rachel Getting Married. They weren't having it!
Neurotic city-dwellers, however, embraced the awkward toasting and raised their glasses to Anne Hathaway's killer performance.
What do you suspect people are watching where you live? And are you as nosey as I am to know what influences your neighbor's movie choices?