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Secretariat Limps, and Disney’s Rookie Marketing Chief Spins Into Action

MT Carney.

MT Carney, the ad executive who was picked out of relative obscurity earlier this year to run marketing for Disney Studios, went on a PR mini-offensive last night, giving "exclusive" interviews to both The Hollywood Reporter and the Wrap, where she explained why Secretariat made only $12 million on its opening weekend.

She held the sharks at bay by pointing out that she hasn't yet worked on a movie she helped to green-light, she's open to hiring veterans and changing strategy, and, most important, she knows how to play to flyover country. "We always knew it was going to play better in the center of the country than elsewhere," she told THR. "We did hugely well in the smaller towns and didn't do so well in New York and L.A. But we knew that would be the case."

In her interview with the Wrap, she argued that she lost to the Facebook movie because elderly Midwesterners don't use Facebook. “This one I look at and can’t think what we did wrong,” she said. “We had huge buzz. We got more internet buzz than a whole lot of movies. But in the heartland people are older, they don’t run out to see movie[s] [on the] first weekend, and 'Social Network' held on better than we thought."

Is Disney's MT Carney Ready for Hollywood's Shark-Infested Waters? [Wrap]
What 'Secretariat's' slow start taught Disney [HR]

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images