With its box office phenomenon “Hunger Games” racking up more than $550 million worldwide, Lionsgate has re-upped its marketing chief Tim Palen to a new longterm agreement, the company announced on Wednesday.
Palen won plaudits for a savvy, internet-based marketing campaign that has turned a hoped-for success as a teenaged action movie into a bona fide worldwide blockbuster.
The move also comes on the heels of Lionsgate acquiring Summit Entertainment.
"Tim is a gifted marketing executive who has been a driving force in the success of our motion picture business over the years, and he elevated his game to a new level with a groundbreaking marketing campaign for 'The Hunger Games,'" said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer and Vice Chairman Michael Burns.
"One of the great benefits of Summit’s recent merger with Lionsgate is the opportunity to be in business with a marketing executive as talented as Tim,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger. “As we roll out a combined slate capable of generating more than a billion dollars at the North American box office, we are fortunate to have two extremely talented marketing executives to guide both the Lionsgate and Summit brands going forward.”
The agreement with Palen leaves Nancy Kirkpatrick in her role as president of worldwide marketing for Summit's movies; she currently reports to Friedman and Wachsberger. But it also appears to position Palen as the heir apparent to run a combined marketing operation down the line.
For the moment, the conjoined studios need two marketing operations, with 20-some films slated for release in the next 12 months. That includes “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” which screened at CinemaCon on Tuesday night and opens in May. And Summit’s “Twilight: Breaking Dawn II,” to be released in November.