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Disney boss exits after $200m. loss (biggest ever) on John Carter film


By Noel Young | Correspondent

April 20, 2012 | 3 min read

Rich Ross, chairman of Walt Disney's film unit, has quit following the company's $200 million loss on the sci-fi picture John Carter.

Rich Ross: out after $200m film loss

Disney confirmed a Reuter report of his departure yesterday. The company did not name a successor.

Disney's president of movie marketing, M.T. Carney had left in January before the film's launch. She had been hired by Ross from a New York agency specializing in marketing packaged goods.

Not long after she arrived at the film company , executives travelled to Britain to visit Steven Spielberg’s very muddy “War Horse” set. Most of the group wore "grungy clothes and work boots" said the New York Times.

But Ms Carney wore white pants and white Chanel flats.

A rookie mistake, said the Times, and no big deal - but the anecdote ricocheted around the catty movie business

The John Carter failure will result in a quarterly loss of as much as $120 million for the studio.

"I don't know that anybody is shocked," analyst Martin Pyykkonen told AdAge. " John Carter' was a debacle and probably the last straw." Previous disappointments included "Mars Needs Moms."

Ross, at Disney 15 years, had created shows at Disney Channel including "High School Musical" and "Hannah Montana," with Miley Cyrus.

Disney boss Robert Iger said, "I appreciate his countless contributions throughout his entire career at Disney, and expect he will have tremendous success in whatever he chooses to do next."

John Carter, made for $250 million, brought in $269.4 million worldwide - but this had to be shared with cinema owners. The resultant $200 million loss is believed to be the largest in film history.


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