Film executive Nadia Bronson, known for her innovative work during her tenure as head of international marketing at Universal, died Friday following a long battle with cancer. She was 67.
Bronson, a native of France, was well-liked among colleagues and competitors. She’s credited with raising the profile of the international marketplace — so much so that she was often dubbed “The Queen of Cannes” — thanks to the creativity she brought to promoting films.
Longtime Cannes topper Gilles Jacob said, “Her death is an immense loss for the business and art of cinema. I had known her since the 1970s, when she invaluably bridged the gap between Cannes and Universal executives — and she became a close friend, successfully bringing so many films to the festival. She was a great lady of cinema, an impressive professional with an irreplaceable humanity.”
During her 24-year Universal tenure, she oversaw international campaigns on such notable pics as “Out of Africa,” “In the Name of the Father,” “Apollo 13,” “Jurassic Park” “Shakespeare in Love,” “The Mummy,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Babe,” “Gladiator” and “Schindler’s List.”
“Jurassic Park” was a massive hit overseas, topping $600 million in 1993. Two years later, “Waterworld” performed impressively internationally with $175 million.
Bronson, who spoke five languages fluently, combined a straightforward business style with a charm that endeared her to executives, directors, actors and journalists.
Bronson joined Universal in 1977 at a time when MCA chairman Lew Wasserman oversaw the studio. She was named director of international advertising and publicity in 1982, then was promoted to VP in 1985 and senior VP in 1994.
Bronson rose into the top echelon with a promotion to the post of exec VP of international marketing in 1996, followed by a promotion to president. She was promoted again in 2000 to president of international theatrical marketing, distribution and operations, then resigned in 2001.
In 1999, Bronson oversaw what was then a record for Universal’s international box office when the studio grossed $1.26 billion with the successes of “The Mummy” and “Notting Hill.”
After leaving Universal in 2001, she formed her own international marketing and distribution consultancy, Nadia Bronson Associates. Clients included Paramount, the Weinstein Co., Fox Searchlight and Scott Rudin.
Bronson is survived by her husband, Tom Bronson, daughters Tanya and Lindsay and grandchildren Nicholas and Leonardo.