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Why is Zoolander So Popular on iTunes?

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iTunes users must be hypnotized by his “blue steel” gaze, because Zoolander has been hanging out in the Top 10 movies purchased on iTunes. Wait, what? An eight-year-old comedy is more popular than Ratatouille, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, and High School Musical (parts 1 and 2)?

Since Apple keeps its sales figures locked in an iron fist, it’s hard to figure out exactly what to make of this, but either Ben Stiller is HUGE with iTunes users, or Apples sales are so low that it doesn’t take much to make it into the top 10. Zoolander isn’t even in the top 100 iTunes rentals.

I had noticed the film poking its well-coiffed head into the Top 10 for a while now, so I decided to keep track. Here are some screen caps taken of the Apple sales chart over the last week.

March 14, 2008
March 17, 2008

March 19, 2008
March 20, 2008

Enchanted, No Country for Old Men and Dan in Real Life make sense, but after that, things get odd. There’s Zoolander hanging out with Mark Wahlberg’s dud Shooter. Even the pre-crazy Lindsay Lohan’s old film Mean Girls makes a cameo.

For comparison, the digital download of Zoolander ranks #339 on Amazon Unbox, and the Zoolander DVD ranks #1,830. The film is also absent from this week’s Billboard’s top DVD sales. People aren’t even BitTorrenting it; Zoolander isn’t in the top ten most popular DVDrips (for the week of March 18).

So why is Zoolander so darn popular on iTunes? We asked two different people at Apple, but neither responded.

Perhaps this is a mystery only a model can solve.

15 Responses to “Why is Zoolander So Popular on iTunes?”

  1. Haven’t you notice that things that outragously scream “gay” into your face are very popular on iTunes? A movie about supermodels counts as just that.

  2. Crazy TV Larry

    It is advertised. So people buy it. My dad rented Means Girls just about a month ago. The only reason he would have done that would be if it had been advertised prominently. No grand conspiracy here — you have just seen via a real-world example why Google is not overvalued and phone books are provided for free.

  3. olddani

    Beyond being plugged by Steve Jobs, Zoolander has developed a cult following. It’s an hilarious movie that people will watch time and time again ergo, they buy it.

  4. Ian Walker

    Simple. You hire movies you a) haven’t seen or b) only want to watch once.

    You buy movies you love and can watch over and over. Zoolander is one of the best recent comedies with a replay factor higher than most anything released recently

  5. I posted a comment before, but it got removed for some reason.

    What I said was that the movie is featured in a few iPhone and iTunes spots. Just do a search for iPhone + zoolander on YouTube or Google.

  6. I think Zoolander is just one of the more re-watchable comedies of the last 10 years, not amazing but pretty funny. Hey, if it were on TBS right now, I’d sort of be excited.

  7. My guess is that its a feedback loop. People buy things they see other people buy. Somehow it got into the top 10 list and now people just keep buying it because they see it in the top 10 list. That and its totally hilarious.