Say Good-Bye to Rich Ross
Disney announced today the Walt Disney Studios Chief Rich Ross is eh,,,,"stepping down", effective today. This brings the John Carter debacle full circle. Quarterly earnings report is due soon and investors need something to appease the substantial finincial loss Disney is going to take on Carter. Someone had to fall. Why not nail the guy in charge of the whole thing? Stepping down? That's a pretty polite way of putting it.
04-20-2012 10:20 AM
Disney studio chief quits after 'John Carter' bomb
Disney studio chief quits after 'John Carter' bomb
Associated PressBy RYAN NAKASHIMA | Associated Press 2 hrs 45 mins ago
LOS ANGELES (AP) Disney movie studio boss Rich Ross is stepping down, a month after the family entertainment giant booked a huge loss on the mega-budget sci-fi movie "John Carter."
Ross, 50, had taken the job just two and a half years ago with a mission to cut costs and develop new hits. He had brought "High School Musical" and "Hannah Montana" to TV audiences as the former head of Disney Channels Worldwide.
But the studio's losses continued under Ross despite major restructuring efforts.</snip>
The Sarchasm -
The gorge between my witty comment and you, who doesn't get it.
guess he should have stuck to tv. Although the previews for John Carter were horrible, not helping the popularity of the move at all! I hope he can find a new place to go and his name is not too soured in the industry.
Have a Disney Day!
You don't have to walk on water, it's how you walk on land.
I don't really care to revel in someone's downfall, but John Carter was so completely mishandled that someone needs to be held responsible. It was a good movie that Disney essentially threw under the bus and chose to take a loss on for no good reason. The buck has to stop with the head of the studio.
I promised I wouldn't discuss conspiracy theories here, but suddenly this picture is coming into focus.
The absurdly expensive marketing budget that produced next to no actual marketing material, Disney's eagerness to write the whole thing off as a loss, etc. Rich Ross isn't being forced out because John Carter failed, John Carter failed because someone wanted Rich Ross out. Back room Hollywood politics have once again sacrificed an innocent film in order to further someone's agenda.
It's also not like this is something new for Disney either. Treasure Planet was another spectacular failure for Disney that suffered from a nonexistent marketing campaign because Eisner never liked the idea of the film in the first place, and then he went even further and held its failure up as an example for why hand drawn animation was dead.
I don't know if the rest of that is true, but regardless, "Treasure Planet" was a fairly mediocre film as far as I'm concerned, with a style that was completely derivative.
Originally Posted by IllusionOfLife
From some of what I've been reading, Rich Ross' downfall was also in letting go of a lot of studio veterans who knew how to do their jobs and bringing in "his people", who also had no experience in the film world. That's a recipe for failure.
Actually it was my fault. I liked both Treasure Planet and John Carter. I also liked Atlantis and my favourite Disney film is Fantasia, so nothing I really like is ever popular. Sorry.
I don't know if Ross just didn't know what he or his department were doing, or if it was someone else thwarting him, or what. I'm just gratified that someone's head is rolling for how this potential franchise was so badly mishandled.
I think it's interesting that in most of the comments I've been reading about this on yahoo those who actually SAW the movie enjoyed it. Most hated the title.
The problem was never with the movie that was on the screen. Many people liked it. Some didn't. The problem was with how much the movie cost to make. A moderately entertaining movie was made on Avatar's budget. Unless the sun, moon, and stars lined up perfectly, John Carter was never going to be profitable and and its the Studios Chairman's responsibility to make his division profitable. John Carter was released one year after Mars Needs Moms another expensive flop. You can't have huge failures on your resume whether you are a studio chief executive or a company. Failures are bad mojo for publicly held companies which exist to turn a profit. Rich Ross did some things right and some things wrong. He did let a lot of Disney Studios veterans go or walk away but he also worked on the deal to that allows Disney's Touchstone to distribute Dreamworks live action films (not the very popular and profitable animated ones unfortunately) for years. The results of this partnership still remains to be seen - Real Steel and War Horse did OK but not quite home runs but the two studios released a gem with The Help. Whoever's decision it was to bring in the Chinese to co-produce Iron Man 3 could be brilliance and I'm pretty sure Ross had a major role.
Originally Posted by carolinakid
But in the end, Ross was the one wearing the albatross around his neck for John Carter. The failure of this film is what Iger needs to explain to his investors with the quarterly results report in May along with the steps that are needed to not only correct it, but make sure it doesn't happen again. He needs to find someone who to run his Studio as a cost efficient administrator, creative visionary mindful of Disney traditions and legacy, and a bit of a connected Hollywood insider. These are tough shoes to fill. I doubt if it will be John Lasseter though the reports are he is the one who had Iger's ear in Ross's removal. I think Lasseter better enjoys his role as Chief Creative Visionary for all things Disney along with his Pixar fame and fortune (even though he was the personally responsible for delivering the lazy Cars 2 effort). What Lasseter will have is probably a great deal of influence on who the next Studios Chairman is going to be.
Last edited by dban3; 04-21-2012 at 08:34 AM.