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Published February 02 2012

Morast: No ‘Money’ in Fargo theaters

One thing you might not know about Jack Zaleski, The Forum’s editorial page editor: He’s a Katherine Heigl fan.

Granted, he’s not a fanboy with posters of the former “Grey’s Anatomy” actress on his office walls. But, as Zaleski puts it, if she walked into a room he’d “notice” her.

If you’re a fellow Heigl fan, you might have noticed that her latest film, “One for the Money” isn’t playing at the local theaters despite opening nationwide last week.

Well, there’s a good reason, and in no surprise it’s all about the money.

Reports on the Deadline Hollywood website explain that “One for the Money” isn’t being screened at any Marcus Theaters because it couldn’t reach an agreement with the movie’s distributor, Lionsgate Films.

This is significant since Marcus owns three of the four movie theaters in Fargo-Moorhead.

Deadline Hollywood reported that Marcus didn’t like a deal Lionsgate made with the couponing website Groupon which gave people access to discounted tickets to “One for the Money.”

Never mind that Groupon doesn’t work in Fargo-Moorhead (and Groupon, if you’re reading this, get in the 701, already). This is a company-wide Marcus mandate that Heigl’s latest role as a bounty hunter will not be shown at their theaters.

There is some hope for all you F-M Heigl fans, though. Emily Beck, executive director at the Fargo Theatre, says, “We’d love to show the film, if that happens.”

Beck also says she’s had several people calling to ask if “One for the Money” will be shown at her theater. And she says many of the calls have come from book clubs wanting to schedule outings to the movie that’s based on the Janet Evanovich book.

If “One for the Money” doesn’t play here, Zaleski and all his fellow Heigl fans might just have to wait for it to drop in Redbox.

Redbox says Fargo is for lovers

Speaking of Redbox, the DVD rental vending machine company says Fargo is one of the most romantic cities in America.

To be specific, we’re the eighth most romantic city in the country.

The ranking comes courtesy of a list that equates a city’s romantic appeal with the number of romantic movies rented from Redboxes in the city’s limits.

Wisconsin cities took the top two spots with La Crosse and Green Bay, respectively. Third went to Ames, Iowa. Other spots of note; our I-29 sister city Sioux Falls, S.D., was fifth while Mankato, Minn., ranked at 10th.

This list is obviously flawed.

I’ve lived in Sioux Falls, that town’s as romantic as a drunken barber. And while Fargo has some heart, this city of stoic, reserved Scandinavians doesn’t quite exist in an atmosphere of romance.

More telling is that all of the cities in the top 10 are in snowbelt states. Meanwhile the 10 cities on Redbox’s least romantic list are in warm weather states where winter doesn’t force people to stay inside and watch movies for four straight months.

Then, again, cuddling together to watch a movie during the dark, cold nights of winter can get kind of romantic.

Readers can reach Forum Features Editor Robert Morast at (701) 241-5518

or rmorast@forumcomm.com