The Weirdest Zip Codes on the New York Times Netflix Map

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Jan. 11 2010 12:03 PM

The Weirdest Zip Codes on the New York Times Netflix Map

On Saturday, the New York Times posted an interactive map of Netflix rental patterns in 12 U.S. cities, broken down by ZIP code. The map is smartly designed and great fun to explore, yet what strikes you almost immediately is the lack of regional variation. The most-popular movies across each urban area are films that contended in last year's Oscars— The Curious Case of Benjamin Button , Doubt , Milk , Vicky Christina Barcelona , The Wrestler , Rachel Getting Married —plus a handful of less heady titles: Paul Blart , Eagle Eye , Twilight .

But not all of the ZIPs are so boring. Perusing the New York map over the weekend, Slate contributor Mike Shollar came across 11371, in Flushing, Queens, N.Y. Its Top 10:

1. Wall-E
2. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
3. Oz: Season 3: Disc 1
4. Watchmen
5. The Midnight Meat Train
6. Man, Woman, and the Wall
7. Traffic
8. Romancing the Stone
9. Crocodile Dundee 2
10. Godzilla's Revenge

Why such an idiosyncratic list? According to Zipcode.com , 11371 has a population of zero—it's LaGuardia Airport. Presumably, this list represents the taste of a small number of people (a single person?) who registered a Netflix account to a mailstop at LGA. Mike noticed a similar phenomenon in Chicago, where O'Hare has its own zip. The top titles in 60666 :

1. Year of the Dragon
2. Transporter 3
3. Somewhere in Time
4. Videodrome
5. A Prayer for the Dying
6. Sixteen Candles
7. Orlando
8. Pale Rider
9. The Breakfast Club
10. Raising Arizona

It's not just airports that have more eclectic lists. College campuses often have their own ZIPs as well. The University of Denver, which resides in 80208, would seem to have particularly collegiate taste:

1. Flight of the Conchords: Season 1: Disc 2
2. W.
3. Volver
4. Weeds: Season 2: Disc 2
5. Appaloosa
6. Weeds: Season 2: Disc 1
7. Defiance
8. Eastern Promises
9. The Visitor
10. The Duchess

Other pockets of resistance to Oscar dominance include, interestingly, the ZIP codes in which some of the major studios reside. Universal City, home to Universal Studios, is in ZIP code 91608 . Its Top 10:

1. Twilight
2. Vicky Christina Barcelona
3. Taken
4. I Love You, Man
5. RocknRolla
6. Cloverfield
7. Changeling
8. Body of Lies
9. Sicko
10. True Blood: Season 1, Disc 1

One final zip-code category that produces entertaining Top 10s: areas largely taken up by federal or state government. For example, 80225 , home to the Denver Federal Center . Get the sense this list reflects the taste of a single Netflix subscriber?

1. Entourage: Season 1: Disc 1
2. Patton Oswalt: No Reason to Complain: Uncensored
3. Richard Jeni: A Big Steaming Pile of Me
4. Psych: Season 1: Disc 1
5. Heckler
6. Robot Chicken: Season 1: Disc 1
7. Patton Oswalt: My Weakness Is Strong
8. Psych: Season 1: Disc 2
9. Patton Oswalt: Werewolves and Lollipops
10. Psych: Season 1: Disc 3

This is hardly a comprehensive list of ZIP codes with unique taste in cinema. Brow Beat readers: Have you noticed a strange ZIP on the Times 's Netflix map? E-mail me at dvdextras@gmail.com , and be sure to send along your best guess at what's afoot in that ZIP. And if you're a skycap with a fondness for the adventure movies of the 1980s or a federal employee with a deep appreciation for Patton Oswalt, we'd love to hear from you as well.

Advertisement

Update, Jan. 13, 8:13a.m.: Click here for more weird Netflix zip codes, discovered by Slate readers.

John Swansburg is Slate's deputy editor.

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The End of Pregnancy

And the inevitable rise of the artificial womb.

Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola in New York City

How a Company You’ve Never Heard of Took Control of the Entire Porn Industry

The Hot New Strategy for Desperate Democrats

Blame China for everything.

The Questions That Michael Brown’s Autopsies Can’t Answer

Foreigners

Kiev Used to Be an Easygoing Place

Now it’s descending into madness.

Technology

Don’t Just Sit There

How to be more productive during your commute.

There Has Never Been a Comic Book Character Like John Constantine

Which Came First, the Word Chicken or the Word Egg?

  News & Politics
The Slate Quiz
Oct. 24 2014 12:10 AM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 23 2014 5:53 PM Amazon Investors Suddenly Bearish on Losing Money
  Life
Outward
Oct. 23 2014 5:08 PM Why Is an Obscure 1968 Documentary in the Opening Credits of Transparent?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 6:55 PM A Goodfellas Actor Sued The Simpsons for Stealing His Likeness. Does He Have a Case?
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 23 2014 11:47 PM Don’t Just Sit There How to be more productive during your commute.
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 23 2014 5:42 PM Seriously, Evolution: WTF? Why I love the most awkward, absurd, hacked-together species.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.