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Netflix vs. Redbox: Who Has Better Taste in Movies?

Columbia/Paramount/Warner Bros.

Today we released a list of the top 10 films rented by Redbox users, and that got us thinking: what about the top 10 films rented by Netflix users? And who has better taste in movie rentals — those who rent from a Redbox kiosk or those who wait patiently for the arrival of their Netflix discs? Two renters enter, only one will be deemed to have the best taste.

Let’s start with the Redbox renters. The top 10 films rented at Redbox from 2002 to 2012 are:

10. ‘Rango’
9. ‘The Proposal’
8. ‘Zookeeper’
7. ‘Bridesmaids’
6. ‘Salt’
5. ‘Jack and Jill’
4. ’21 Jump Street’
3. ‘Grown Ups’
2. ‘Bad Teacher’
1. ‘Just Go With It’

And the top 10 films rented in the history of Netflix (that’s 13 years of service):

10. ‘Iron Man’
9. ‘Date Night’
8. ‘Inception’
7. ‘The Departed’
6. ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’
5. ‘Sherlock Holmes’
4. ’The Bucket List’
3. ‘The Hurt Locker’
2. ‘Crash’
1. ‘The Blind Side’

Right off the bat, here’s what we’re noticing: The most popular films rented by Redbox users over the course of 10 years continue to be more current fare — stuff that was released in the last year or so. But Redbox users also have a proclivity for Adam Sandler films (there’s four on that list), which speaks to the family-friendly vibe of the Redbox. Most of those boxes are located outside of McDonalds locations and drug stores, which says a lot about their users and their impetuous habits.

Netflix users, on the other hand, choose titles that are a little more varied in release date, but still it’s pretty current stuff. They also tend to rent more prestige pictures — stuff that’s nominated or has won an Oscar. Aside from ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Date Night,’ ‘The Bucket List,’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes’ (all big studio films that are filled with action, fun, and friendly famous faces), Netflix users are renting award-nominated films.

But do awards nominations and wins make for better movies? The Redbox list has ‘Rango,’ ‘Bridesmaids,’ and ’21 Jump Street’ (and we’d even argue that ‘Bad Teacher’ is pretty good) — all good movies, but nothing as great as ‘The Departed,’ ‘Inception,’ or ‘The Hurt Locker.’

We’re sorry to say it, Redbox renters, but Netflix users have better taste in movies than you do. When you pit names like Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan against Adam Sandler, the math just does itself.

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