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Game may get U pic hopping

Studio inks deal with Lima Sky on 'Hop'

Just as Fox has paired up with “Angry Birds” producer Rovio to promote “Rio,” Universal Pictures has inked a deal with “Doodle Jump” maker Lima Sky to create a version of the cellphone game tied to Illumination Entertainment’s upcoming toon “Hop.”

As part of the deal, “Doodle Jump” users will be able to unlock a free Easter level within the game, starting in February, and play as the film’s Easter Bunny character, voiced by Russell Brand in the film.

“Hop” jumps into theaters April 1. It’s Illumination’s second film for U after “Despicable Me.”

To play “Doodle Jump,” gamers control a four-legged creature, known as “Doodler,” up a series of platforms without falling. Character is controlled by tilting the handset. Pact should enable U to market “Hop” to a large aud considering that “Doodle Jump” boasts 8.5 million users, according to Lima Sky.

Deal, brokered by Universal Partnerships and Licensing as its first film crossover with an iPhone app, reflects a trend: Studios are turning to popular mobile apps to reach an audience increasingly distracted by their cellphones and now tablets in an effort to turn those small screens into a promotional platform.

“To have ‘Doodle Jump’ involved with the launch of a major motion picture demonstrates how influential apps have become in just a few short years,” said Igor Pusenjak, prexy and founder of Lima Sky.

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