Heartland hitched

'Brokeback': How the Midwest was won

It’s the age-old question: “That movie may be popular on the coasts, but will it play in Peoria?”

With spectacular grosses racking up around the country, it’s become clear that “Brokeback Mountain” has appeal beyond the major cities where arthouse pics do best.

But on the Jan. 20 weekend, the mythically meaningful Midwestern burg weighed in, offering an answer to the key question.

“Brokeback” bowed to $15,695 at its first playdate in Peoria, making it No. 1 at the theater, ahead of even the frame’s nationwide winner, “Underworld: Evolution.”

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