OK, so this is funny, and I’m sorry I didn’t consider this sooner.
We wrote this story about this report from a streaming service site that named the most popular horror movie in every state, basing the selections on data from surveys and Google Trends.
Through this data, the site (StreamingObserver.com) determined that the most popular horror movie in Nebraska was “King Kong.”
Now, we thought that was a little weird, but, as we noted, Nebraska is “not for everyone.” So whatever.
But then a commenter named Jaime raised a possibility I didn’t think of:
“Wouldn’t Google’s analytics be thrown off by our local King Kong restaurants? Could that have something to do with it?”
A search of “king kong” in Google Trends does show that over the last year, Nebraska is by far the most common searcher of the term, followed by New Mexico — which has, by the way, a popular shop called King Kong Custom Audio & Accessories in Albuquerque.
Within the Google Trends data, you can break down your search term analytics into different variations, including the “arts and entertainment” variation. But in this variation, the Google Trends report seems to make no distinction between people searching for “King Kong” the movie vs. King Kong the restaurant vs. King Kong the custom audio shop. It’s just “king kong.”
Break it down further, and you'll see that Omaha has searched for “king kong” more than any other city in America over the past 12 months, and has made related queries, including “king kong menu.”
I reached out to Streaming Observer to see if their data might have been skewed by the fact that we have a fast food restaurant chain named King Kong.
They couldn’t say definitively, but in an email, Streaming Observer’s outreach director, Eric Anthony, conceded that, yes, “if Google Trends is having trouble distinguishing, it could have played some role.”
And so there is a decent possibility that Nebraska’s favorite horror movie is not a horror movie at all but, in fact, a fast food restaurant.
* * *
It’s not for everyone, indeed.
Nebraska’s favorite horror movie, according to a new report by StreamingObserver.com, is “King Kong.” As in 1933’s “King Kong.” As in not-a-horror-movie “King Kong.”
I suppose when you’re livin’ the Good Life in a nice, non-coasting sort of go-big-red kinda way, you do things the way you want to do them, and so “King Kong” is our favorite horror movie. Cool.
Streaming Observer used data from RottenTomatoes, Google Trends and other sources to determine which horror movies each state was most obsessed with relative to other states.
We were the only state that had “King Kong” as its favorite. I’d like to derive some sort of lesson from this, but I see no possible connection that would explain the state’s outsized love of the film.
(Actually, I do have one idea that helps explain the film’s popularity with Nebraskans, but I’m keeping it to myself, as I don't want you to run me out of the state.)
Elsewhere, states went with more obvious horror titles. A few of the most popular picks included “The Silence of the Lambs,” “The Exorcist” and “Shaun of the Dead.”
And there were states that picked movies with a geographical connection. For instance: “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” in Texas, “The Shining” in Colorado and “The Blair Witch Project” in Maryland.
Iowa, in a rare case of being better than us (just kidding!), had “Evil Dead 2” as its favorite horror movie.
The report also determined the interest in horror movies across the U.S. and found that, relative to other states, Nebraska’s interest in horror movies isn’t that high. Which perhaps explains why the state’s favorite horror movie is not even a horror movie.
See the full report at StreamingObserver.com.