23 April 2012

'John Carter' gives Disney boss the boot

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers
Mars movies typically spell disaster for Hollywood studios, as Disney chairman Rich Ross (above) has learned the hard way.

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Rich Ross last week "stepped down" from his long-held position at the house of mouse, stating in a letter to his staff: "I no longer believe the Chairman role is the right professional fit for me."

"But make no mistake about it," writes Deadline, "Ross did not simply decide to step down – he was fired... His ouster now ends his 15+ year Disney career which included one of the most public and worst film failures in Hollywood — John Carter, a $200M writedown for the Walt Disney Co."

Deadline notes that, "even though the film wasn’t greenlit by Ross (it was greenlit by predecessor Dick Cook and championed by John Lasseter), it was still overseen by him and mismarketed by his studio — and became one of the most public and expensive film failures in Hollywood history."

For more on this story, head on over to Deadline. And for a comprehensive overview of Hollywood's many failed Mars missions, read my article: Hollywood and the Curse of Mars.


'John Carter' will lose Disney $200 million

'Total Recall' remake erases Mars/ET storyline

'Invaders from Mars': UFO acclimation movie?


  1. ""I no longer believe the Chairman role is the right professional fit for me."

    Is he accepting a new position as cotton-candy vendor at one of the parks now? :P

    It will be interesting to see if John Carter's failure will also affect Andrew Stanton's career.

    1. Hopefully Stanton will bounce back, but I doubt Hollywood will be making any more trips to Mars any time soon.

  2. This is a film without a "built-in" audience (not based on a comic or a recent bestseller or even an earlier popular film) so it desperately needed a balls-to-the-wall marketing effort. After Disney emptied the piggybank on making the film, it cheaped out on marketing it (there was no promotion of the film in my city until the very week it opened; no advance TV spots, print, lobby displays, etc.).

    Maybe the curse is that involvement in anything to do with Mars renders really bright people temporarily stupid.

    1. Maybe! I also think the film's box-office failure is due in large part to its astronomical budget ($300 million in total). If Disney had spent 'only' $100 million then, technically, it would have been a success (albeit not a huge one). Throwing $300 million at such an obscure product as 'John Carter' is just asking for trouble. I'm amazed Disney couldn't see this.

  3. It was heavily promoted in Toronto. The posters made me think of dusty Tatooine scenes from Star Wars. And, consequently, really bad acting. I was not interested.

    1. "...And, consequently, really bad acting."

      I find your lack of faith disturbing,