THR's Women in Entertainment 2011: Power 100
Meet the marketing mastermind behind the Twilight series, one of the biggest surprises in the history of Hollywood franchises and one that has earned $2.3 billion worldwide. When Rob Friedman, then her boss at Paramount, left to run Summit's new production studio, Kirkpatrick quickly followed.
The indie studio route is notoriously difficult, but then came Twilight. Kirkpatrick, who just finished opening The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, was applauded for a smart marketing campaign in launching the first film that relied both on traditional spends and social media. "It's the most fun thing I've ever done in my life. I was down at tent city [where fans camp out] the weekend before Breaking Dawn opened and saw a bunch of fans I've gotten to know, including two girls from the Philippines who fly to Los Angeles every time there's a Twilight premiere," she says.
It got even better. At the premiere, Kirkpatrick found herself dancing with Bruno Mars, who has a song on the Breaking Dawn soundtrack. "The deejay started playing 'It Will Rain,' so Bruno says, 'Let's go slow dance.' There I am dancing with him, and he's singing to me in my ear. It was so much fun," she says. Kirkpatrick notes that the Twilight machine never stops, between DVDs, merchandising and fan outreach.
But that doesn't mean she doesn't have other films to shepherd. This year, Summit's release slate included Source Code, A Better Life and the Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen cancer dramedy 50/50, of which she is particularly proud. "Those guys did a great job with a very challenging subject," she says. Kirkpatrick, 56, celebrated the opening of Breaking Dawn on Nov. 18 by catching a red eye that night to North Carolina's Outer Banks, where she and her husband have a house; they spent Thanksgiving with their son, 25, and two daughters, who are 23 and 21.
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