Today’s Groupon: Midwest theaters refuse to screen Groupon-sponsored One For The Money
Ubiquitous web coupon site Groupon is good for a lot of things: discounted meals, laser hair-removal, nail shellacking, filling up your trash folder. But like a scrappy film extra with dreams of hobnobbing with the hobnobbers (and hooking you up with a good deal on yoga classes), Groupon is also getting in the business of discounted movie tickets.
Case in point: the dismal-looking, Katherine Heigl-starring One For The Money comes complete with a discounted ticket deal from Groupon, a fact proudly touted in the film’s trailer, because “Visit us on Facebook!” apparently wasn’t embarrassing enough. The deal hasn’t sat well with Milwaukee-based theater chain Marcus Theaters, however. According to Deadline, Marcus couldn’t come to financial terms with the film’s distributor, Lionsgate, and has objected over the company’s partnering with Groupon. Marcus is now refusing to screen the sexy-girl-bounty-hunter flick in its 50-plus first-run theaters throughout Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin (or “flyover country,” as Deadline so adroitly puts it).
Of course, this would be a problem if moviegoers in the Midwest—or anywhere, for that matter—wanted to see One For The Money in the first place. Hollywood prognosticators expect the film to make less than $5 million, and seem less than dazzled with the prospect of a brunette Katherine Heigl starring as a “proud, born-and-bred Jersey girl” with “plenty of attitude” in an adaptation of a Janet Evanovich bestseller. Though the film will play in non-Marcus theaters throughout the Midwest, those looking for a cheap substitute are probably better off printing a Groupon for some comfortable jeans and renting The Bounty Hunter instead.