Ever wondered what the people in your neck of the woods are renting through Netflix? Are they like you? Do you all share the same taste in films, or is there one block that's into some really weird sh*t? In an effort to find out these answers, discover patterns and give you something to do when you're bored at work, a few folks over at The New York Times put together an interactive map that uses Google Maps to let you check out the top ten (or more) most rented movies for 2009 according to zip codes across 12 major cities. They are: New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington, Bay Area, L.A., Seattle, Minneapolis, Denver, Atlanta, Dallas and Miami.
Glancing through different cities, it definitely seems like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button took the top spot in the most amount of areas (it did in my zip code, where it was joined by films like Doubt, The Wrestler and Body of Lies). But it often shifts; for example, in one zip code in Westchester, New York, Twilight was the most rented film in 2009, and in another zip code in Texas, Knowing, Seven Pounds and Paul Blart: Mall Cop were the top rented movies.
One interesting statistic (based on my own findings) was that a majority of people in all 12 of these cities were more interested in renting the critically acclaimed movies versus the big blockbusters. I think this may be due to people skipping these films in theaters (in order to see stuff like Transformers), but then renting the smaller films once they see that they're up for awards. Check out the map for yourself over a the NYT website, and let us know if you spot any interesting (and noteworthy) patterns.