Some more details of the fallout of John Carter (of Mars, dammit!) and the leaving of Rich Ross as Studio Head at Disney. It seems things are a bit more complicated than him just getting canned over a bomb. Now, this makes some sense, because Disney has had some horrible bombs that have lost lots of money. There had to be some behind the scenes action going on. And thanks to this JimHillMedia article I was sent by @rwmead.
Disney head honcho Bob Iger declares that no one is to point figures over John Carter.
Reading between the lines here, Bob Iger was trying to help John Lasseter’s very good friend Andrew Stanton save face. So Stanton’s initial attempt at making a live-action feature film had misfired. Big deal. The Walt Disney Company still considered Stanton to be a very valuable creative asset. Which — given that the two animated features that Andrew had directed for Pixar Animation Studios, 2003’s “Finding Nemo” and 2008’s “WALL-E” had a combined worldwide box office total of $1.388 billion (Not to mention the hundreds of million of dollars more that the Company has made off of plush, toys, ice shows and theme park attractions with direct ties to these Pixar characters) — was perfectly understandable.
Which was why the Company was doing everything within its power to spare Stanton any unnecessary embarrassment.
Things seemed good and Rich Ross was playing ball, but it looks like his team didn’t get the memo:
Well, Rich’s loyal staffers may have been looking to distance their boss from “John Carter” disappointing box office number. But Bob Iger and his team on the sixth floor of the Team Disney – Burbank Building – supposedly saw this situation entirely differently. They felt that Ross placing his own need to protect & preserve his professional reputation ahead of the Company’s needs, potentially damaging the Studio’s working relationship with Pixar senior management was an extremely poor choice. Which is why a decision was made at that time to speed exit Rich’s exit from The Walt Disney Company.
So Ross’s team might be the reason he got the axe. Which actually sort of sucks, but it also shows how valuable they see Stanton. If Stanton gives Disney another gigantic animated film or two, he might have enough clout to make another John Carter flick…if studio politics haven’t changed by then.
John Carter (of Mars, dammit!) has killed again, this time the victim was Walt Disney Studios Chairman Rich Ross’s job! Sure, Ross has overseen lots of billion dollar properties, but John Carter (of Mars, dammit!) needs someone to blame, and it sure ain’t going to be everyone! Ross has been chosen as the scapegoat. He joined as Chairman in October 2009, previously working on the Disney Channel and helping turn that channel into a goldmine of big money brands. John Carter was such a mess there will probably be books and books dedicated to what went wrong and where the $200 million loss came from. And while those books are being written, we are living in history. It would be cool if the John Carter (of Mars, dammit!) film tore through Disney slaying executives and underlings alike much like how John Carter carved his way through armies of Tharks, but that’s probably wishful thinking.
I’m sure it’s totally not suspicious that he’s resigning just days before The Avengers makes Disney a gazillion dollars. You know, a film that was actually marketed and not renamed “Steve Rogers”
Ross’s resignation letter:
For the last 15 years, I have had the opportunity to work with incredibly talented people on behalf of the world’s best loved brand. During that time, we’ve told some amazing stories around the world, created successful TV programming, movies, and franchises that generated new opportunities for the company in the process.
I’ve always said our success is created and driven by our people – whom I consider to be the absolute best in the business. But, the best people need to be in the right jobs, in roles they are passionate about, doing work that leverages the full range of their abilities. It’s one of the leadership lessons I’ve learned during my career, and it’s something I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to as I look at the challenges and opportunities ahead.
I believe in this extraordinary Walt Disney Studios team, and I believe in our strong slate of films and our ability to make and market them better than anyone else. But, I no longer believe the Chairman role is the right professional fit for me. For that reason, I have made the very difficult decision to step down as Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, effective today.
It has been my honor to work with such incredible teams – at Disney Channels Worldwide and The Walt Disney Studios and the many other Disney businesses I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with. I know I leave the Studios in good hands and, even on separate paths, I am confident we are all destined for continued success.
Picture ganked from here
Whoops! Guess you should have advertised the film, Disney! Or at least kept it as John Carter OF MARS, dammit! Now we have a shameful $200 million lost and a big probability that there will be no sequel. Which is a shame, because John Carter (of Mars, dammit!) didn’t suck. It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t trainwreck bad. Don’t take my word for it, take my word for it!
Disney said “John Carter” has brought in about $184 million in ticket sales worldwide so far. But ticket sales are split roughly in half with theater owners. The movie’s production budget is estimated to be about $250 million with about $100 million more spent on marketing.
The only way to make the money back is to make a sequel and spend $400 million to make it! It’s just crazy enough to work…
Here’s the last John Carter (of Mars, dammit!) trailer, and it looks like they went from explaining nothing and looking boring to explaining nothing and having mindless violence. So. Yeah. Still no mention of “Directed by the guy who did Wall-E” or “From the writer who brought you Tarzan”. It’s a damn shame that people on the internet have done a way better job promoting John Carter than Disney, and we have absolutely nothing riding on this except the cost of our movie ticket. At least my old copies of the Barsoom books will still be there (though mine are in storage atm with most of my other pulp novels!)
Jimmy Carter of Mars via
Here is an exclusive poster of John Carter (of Mars, dammit!) by artist Mondo (J.C. Richard) that will be given to people who attend a midnight Imax show. Please note how it is 1000000 times better than the other crappy posters:
And here is a fan trailer done by TheJohnCarterFiles. Please note how it is 1000000 times better than the other crappy trailers:
Now, when articles like this show up that claim John Carter will be the biggest money loser in the history of history…maybe, just maybe, it is because a pack of monkeys could have done a better job marketing John Carter than the current fail parade. And, yes, I should have said “a pack of white apes” to keep with the John Carter theme, but if Disney doesn’t give a frak…
Here is a 90 second commercial with some more new footage and the cast yakking about how great John Carter (of Mars, dammit!) will be. Also the movie adaptation hit bookstores this week along with the Under the Moons of Mars anthology of new stories. I haven’t had a chance to read them yet as I’m just finished the Black Company books and have begun rereading the first three Barsoom books, then I’ll read the new stuff.