Lionsgate-Summit Shake-up: Marketing Chief Nancy Kirkpatrick to Exit

Eric Charbonneau/Invision/AP Images; Courtesy of Lionsgate
Nancy Kirkpatrick, Tim Palen

UPDATED: All feature film marketing operations will now be run by Lionsgate veteran Tim Palen.

The long-awaited integration of Lionsgate and Summit's marketing operations will see widely respected studio executive Nancy Kirkpatrick resigning at the end of April.

The company's feature film marketing will be run by chief marketing officer Tim Palen, a Lionsgate veteran equally well-respected. Kirkpatrick ran marketing at Summit Entertainment before it was bought by Lionsgate.

When Lionsgate bought Summit two years ago, their respective marketing operations were kept separate in order to service Summit's remaining stable of films. Kirkpatrick continued to serve as worldwide president of marketing for Summit, while Palen continued to head up marketing for Lionsgate.

Upon Kirkpatrick's departure, Palen will have oversight of Lionsgate and Summit titles, as well as Pantelion Films. He'll also have expanded merchandising and theme park duties.

Among other Summit properties, Kirkpatrick ran the marketing campaigns for the blockbuster Twilight franchise. More recently, she successfully launched Divergent, the first title in a new Summit franchise.

"Now was the right time to take the next step in integrating the marketing departments of our Lionsgate and Summit film labels as we continue to achieve significant operational synergies following the acquisition of Summit Entertainment two years ago," said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger.

The duo praised Kirkpatrick, who worked with Friedman for years at Paramount Pictures.

"Nancy has successfully completed the mission we asked her to perform two years ago, maintaining the momentum of a vibrant slate of Summit Entertainment films, culminating in last month's blockbuster launch of the first film in our new Divergent franchise," continued Friedman and Wachsberger. "Nancy is a consummate professional and a skilled and intuitive marketing executive.  She has been a key member of our motion picture family for years, and she will be missed."