The head of the Disney filmmaking studio Rich Ross has resigned as chairman, just weeks after the action sci-fi movie 'John Carter' became one of the biggest movie flops of all time. According to BBC News, Ross revealed the news by email, saying, "I no longer believe that the chairman role is the right professional fit for me".
Ross is a 15-year Disney veteran and was responsible for commissioning High School Musical and Hannah Montana - both of which became huge success stories for the Disney Channel. After stepping up the movie division, Ross, 50, approved production of John Carter, which cost more than $250 million to make and made back only $50 million. The movie starred Taylor Kitsch as a former Army captain who is transported to Mars. It was ridiculed by critics, with the Guardian's Peter Bradshaw commenting, "I felt as if someone had dragged me into the kitchen of my local Greggs, and was baking my head into the centre of a colossal cube of white bread". Disney is not expected to appoint a new studio chairman immediately and the company's Chief Executive Bob Iger hailed Ross's contribution, saying, "For more than a decade, Rich Ross' creative instincts, business acumen and personal integrity have driven results in key businesses for Disney".
Ironically, Disney fared much better at the box-office in the same weekend that Ross announced his resignation. The studio's nature documentary 'Chimpanzee' placed No.4 at the box-office with pleasing takings of $10.2 million.