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Universal Wins Movie Marketing Award for 'Bridesmaids' Campaign Down Under

News Corp. supports new marketing award as 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2' takes box office achievement prize.

SYDNEY -- Universal Pictures International’s campaign for the local release of Bridesmaids in June picked up the inaugural Movie Marketer of the Year award at the Australian International Movie Convention on Wednesday, winning a package of ad space in News Ltd. print and digital publications worth up to $250,000.

Bridesmaids was judged the best overall movie campaign of 2011 by a panel of entertainment industry judges who commended Universal Pictures for “their clear identification of campaign challenges, supported by a clever marketing strategy and smart use of owned, earned and paid media.

“The success of the campaign was confirmed by not only box office success, but also viral and word of mouth activity, campaign awareness levels and social media chatter,” judges said.

The award was picked up by Universal Australia’s director of marketing Suzanne Stretton-Brown.

News Ltd., the local arm of News Corp., initiated the award last year because of the company’s “passion for entertainment" according to sales director Tony Kendall said.

“We help promote it, our journalists publicize it and we're also members of the industry with our 20th Century Fox association, so it just makes sense for us to run a competition that recognizes the very best marketing talent  in the entertainment industry," Kendall said.

At the same event, box office achievement in 2010/11 in Australia and New Zealand was recognized with a swag of awards.

Even though its still in release here, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 won the top prize: the AIMC Box Office Award for the highest-grossing film in Australia for  2010/2011 with takings of over $50 million and still counting.

The film picked up the same award for the New Zealand market, taking $8.1 million there and also won the award for the highest-grossing 3D film in Australia this year.

Roadshow Films was the distributor in both markets.

Rialto Distribution picked up the award for the highest grossing foreign language film, The Girl Who Played with Fire, the second film on the Stieg Larsson trilogy which took $3.34 million here.

The top-grossing Australian film for the 210/11 was Paramount Pictures’ Tomorrow When the War Began with $14.5 million while the top grossing New Zealand film was My Wedding and Other Secrets, released by Sony Pictures Releasing (NZ), with $714,760.