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Lionsgate shakes up movie marketing operations

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In a shakeup of Lionsgate's film marketing operations, Nancy Kirkpatrick, the head of the studio's Summit Entertainment unit, will resign at the end of April.

In her place, Tim Palen, Lionsgate's chief marketing officer, will assume control of Summit's marketing, the company said Thursday. 

Kirkpatrick has been president of Summit's worldwide marketing for the last six year, overseeing the campaigns for the blockbuster "Twilight" film series and the recent release "Divergent," among others.

Santa Monica-based Lionsgate acquired Summit in January 2012 for $413 million. Giving Palen control of all the studio's film marketing operations is a key step in integrating the two companies.

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“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-Chairmen Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger in a statement.

"Divergent," which was released March 21, has grossed $178 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. The film is based on a popular young-adult dystopian novel of the same name. 

"Divergent" is not on pace to repeat the blockbuster success of Lionsgate's two recent "Hunger Games" films, which were also based on well-liked young-adult novels and both grossed more than $650 million worldwide. 

Palen's marketing responsibilities are being expanded to include merchandising and theme park attractions. He will also have marketing oversight of Lionsgate's other film labels, including the Codeblack Films division. 

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