‘The Hangover’ tops Publicists Awards

Warner Bros. pic wins Maxwell Weinberg prize

Hollywood union publicists have tapped Warner Bros.’ “The Hangover” as winner of the Maxwell Weinberg award for feature publicity campaign.

CBS-TV’s “NCIS” and “NCIS: Los Angeles” won the Weinberg award for TV campaign.

The winners were announced Friday at the 47th Intl. Cinematographers Guild’s Publicists Awards at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City.

“Hangover” beat campaigns for Sony’s “2012,” Fox’s “Avatar,” Universal’s “Couples Retreat,” Paramount’s “Paranormal Activity” and Disney’s “The Proposal.” “NCIS” and “NCIS: Los Angeles” topped ABC’s “V” and CW’s “The Vampire Diaries.”

George Clooney presented the org’s Les Mason award to Clooney’s longtime publicist, Stan Rosenfield.

Thesp opened with a comic take, coming onstage toting a pair of large bags and joking, “I was in the gift room with Sarah Palin.”

The org’s press award went to Anthony Breznican of USA Today and the Intl. Media Award to British journo Chris Hewitt. The Excellence in Unit Still Photography award went to Andrew Cooper.

Mario Lopez emceed the ceremonies.

Previously announced awards included the Motion Picture Showmanship award to James Cameron, presented by Sigourney Weaver. Shane Brennan, exec producer of “NCIS” and “NCIS: Los Angeles,” received the Television Showmanship award, presented by Michael Weatherly and LL Cool J.

Walt Disney Studios chief Rich Ross presented Robert Zemeckis with the org’s lifetime achievement award, and Doris Roberts presented a special award of merit to Ernest Borgnine.

Pamela Golum of the Lippin Group won the Bob Yeager award for community service.

Cameron, in his acceptance speech, gave extensive thanks to Fox’s publicity team for promoting “Avatar.”

He noted that a year ago, the pic had little recognition among moviegoers.

“We started at less than zero because we did not have Brad Pitt or George Clooney — maybe next time,” Cameron said. “We knew we had to get out and sell hard.”

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