John Carter Fiasco Makes Rich Ross Resign From Disney

When a few weeks ago the “John Carter” was ruled to be biggest Disney fiasco of recent years, everybody was wondering who’s going to take the blame for it. Well, apparently Rich Ross was ruled responsible, at least off the record. Rich Ross resigned from Disney after pressure built up over the “John Carter” fiasco.

In two weeks alone Disney’s John Carter science fiction movie was ruled as one of the biggest failures of the company. It brought a $200 million loss and reviews such as “deadly dull” and “massively confusing”. Not exactly what you’d wish critics would say about a movie you hoped it will bring grand revenue. At the time of the premiere, an analyst told Bloomberg: “I do think this is the largest loss on a single film that I have ever seen”.

Rich Ross took the blame for the failure. After the news about John Carter hit the media, management with Disney started think that Rich Ross approved the movie much too lightly. Rich Ross was accused of having faulty aides that cost him and the company immensely. Plus, the not so successful “Mars Needs Moms” was also brought into question.

On Friday Rich Ross made his exit from Disney, ending only a three years career within a very profitable industry. Soon after Rich Ross implemented his first decisions Robert A. Iger received the first complaints. Both filmmakers and producers argued that “Rich made strategic errors beyond movie-picking”.

This Friday, Rich Ross sent his employees an email announcing his exit from Disney. “I believe in our strong slate of films and our ability to make and market them better than anyone else” said Rich Ross as he added “but, I no longer believe the chairman role is the right professional fit for me”.

Laura Martin, senior media analyst with Needham & Co told the Chicago Tribune that Ross’ departure shows Disney has real problems within its core content business. “You can’t let an executive lose $200 million or $300 million on his watch and not fire him. If Iger loses another $200 million, his job could be on the line”.

However, Iger’s statement on Friday read about Ross: “his vision and leadership opened doors for Disney around the world, making our brand part of daily life for millions of people”.

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Ronald Silva is one of our newest publishers.He currently lives in Toronto (Canada) with his family.Ronald covers the music and sports sections of Over the past few years, Ronald has participated in various journalistic projects including some of which he started when he worked for a local newspaper in Toronto. Contact him at


  1. It is so tiring hearing the same trashy rhetoric over and over..John Carter’s failure was if anything, Ross’s fault for not doing his job supporting and properly promoting it. Please get your story straight. Ross and Disney made grave errors not backing this wonderful movie from the beginning. Now they are running with their tails between their legs and trying to pawn off the blame on everything and everyone associated with this film. They can call it a flop etc. or whatever, but it WILL become the classic that itvso deserves. Despite Disney,despite Ross’s exit, and despite every negative critique. BARSOOM….

  2. John Carter was a wonderful film that died at the box office due to poor marketing and advertising. I have seen the film on many occasions with both family and friends who absolutely loved the film! It was a beautiful story and had an incomparable cast! The characters were all fantastic. It was just an extremely well made and directed film. A story that you want to go back to time and time again. There is a huge fan base all over the world for John Carter. Edgar Rice Burroughs must have done something right for Lucas to pattern his star wars characters after. If Disney had marketed the film better, if people had actually known what John Carter was about, if there had actually been proper advertising of this film, John Carter would have definitely exceeded box office performance!! DISNEY: TAKE US BACK TO BARSOOM!!

  3. Richard Ross was fired because he made ‘John Carter’ a bomb not because it was a bomb. ‘John Carter’ was a spectacular movie: tight story, good acting and terrific special effects. The only thing it lacked was decent marketing. Ross tried to tank the movie because it was approved by his predecessor and he didn’t want him getting the credit if the movie succeeded.

  4. The marketing for John Carter was so bad that I was badmouthing its blandness without even seeing it. Word of mouth was the only reason I went and saw what was a fun movie. A lot of people in my circle didn’t even know the movie had been released.

  5. Rich Ross is responsible for this well crafted, entertaining film to have performed as poorly as it did. From the lack-luster marketing, to the poor merchandising and by releasing that statement of financial ruin only 10 days after the film opened in the American market. A statement that has been proven false since John Carter was #1 on the world box office for its first two weeks. Disney did the right thing by removing Ross from the company. I only hope that his replacement can see that John Carter is gathering a large fan base all over the world and could potentially be the start of a great franchise and much profit for the Disney coffers.

  6. This is a magical movie of a great book. If it had been promoted properly by Disney it would have played to packed theatres as it did at its final showing at the El Capitan in Hollywood after our group “Take Us Back To Barsoom—-We Want a Sequel to John Carter” did some promotion. Watch it fly on DVD/Blueray

  7. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. I mean really, how do you mess up the marketing of a perfect film like John Carter? It almost seems intentional. From the lack of merchandising, to the lack of good advertising, to the crappy release date, it seems like Ross was out to lose money on John Carter from the get go. I just don’t get it. I hope the blame for John Carter’s failure rests solely at his feet always and forever more. I mean, it’s done over $269 million worldwide. I’d hardly call that a flop. The US just didn’t get it spoon-fed to them like they should have and that’s Ross’s fault. Maybe when its out on DVD, and people actually give it a chance, the truth will finally be reported. This is the Rich Ross fiasco, not the John Carter fiasco. I hope Disney sees past his stupidity and greenlights Parts 2 and 3 with a modest combined budget. These stories are the bedrock upon which all romantic fantasy adventure films were built.

  8. “Deadly dull” and “massively confusing” would be a more apt description of the marketing campaign than the movie itself. The critics who came up with those descriptions couldn’t possibly have seen JOHN CARTER. Rich Ross was fired for cause — he fired his entire experienced marketing staff before releasing a $250 million dollar movie! What competent executive does that? His leadership was not accepted by the people who worked for him — and for good reason.

  9. John Carter was surprisingly good. The only thing “massively confusing” about it was why Disney neglected to give it a proper marketing campaign.

  10. I hope that they get the story straightened out about John Carter being a failure. It turns out that the descriptions “bomb” and “flop” were about Rich Ross!

  11. The pitiable lack of marketing going back more than a year is what has plagued the unfairly maligned “John Carter,” and that is all down to Richard Ross and his inept marketing and promotions staffers. Since when does Disney release a major feature without related products? No toys, video games, action figures or plush toys! Seriously? Since merchandise tie-ins are set up easily one year before a film’s release, it should be obvious that Disney never had any intention to properly promote this film, which is shameful. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who has anything bad to say about this film after seeing it, but far too many potential audience members do not even realize that the film has been released. The European box office alone proves that this film is fabulous–it was No. 1 there for several weeks, but then their ads were beautifully devised. Fingers crossed that the DVD can turn the tide for “John Carter,” not that the studio has earned it.

  12. I want to laugh every time I see someone say the film was confusing. LOL! Seriously? Were you playing on your cell phone or did you show up 15 minutes into the film or what? I have taken friends with NO background in the original books and no help from me at all who completely followed everything just fine, mostly because they PAID ATTENTION! Also, one of these dear friends is mentally handicapped, and he didn’t have ANY trouble following the story. Pretty sad how audiences have been so badly dumbed down these days.

    And when it comes to John Carter being the reason Ross was let go. Well yea, but as others have so perfectly pointed out, NOT due to the film itself, but Ross and his team’s horrible job of marketing it! Anyone who actually looks at how that all played out can see what happened there. And if you saw the film and PAID ATTENTION to it, you know it’s in now way a turkey and is only considered a bomb due to bad marketing and only in the US! Overseas it did fantastic! Anyway, that’s about all I can add here. Others have said it much better than I. I’m glad Ross is gone and I hope whoever comes in to take his place will give John Carter the respect and treatment it has deserved all along.

  13. This is a most fun movie and firing Ross for the marketing debacle was the right choice, because he intentionally tanked what could have been Disney’s ‘Star Wars’ because he didn’t like it (he said so himself) and it was green-lit by his predecessor.

    Never had this much fun in a theater since I watched “The Lion King” when I was 8-ish.

  14. It is so disheartening to hear negative comments about the film from people who, more than likely, never even HEARD of Edgar Rice Burroughs. I would almost suggest that a reading of “A Princess of Mars” be REQUIRED before you see the movie. At the very least, you need some familiarity with the whole Barsoom series. I thought the story was very well presented, even if some of the events in the original manuscript were a tad out of sequence. “Deadly Dull”, bloody hell, how much action do you NEED?
    My ONLY complaint is that they got the Martian moons wrong. Both moons are always shown in the same relative position when EVERYONE knows that Phobos and Diemos are in different orbits and travel at very different speeds, so are never in the same location in the Martian sky. Sorry, “Barsoomian” sky.

    Oh, did I mention I loved the movie? Got my order in for the full 4 DVD set when it’s released too.

  15. Oh my. Charlie – I bet I ‘heard’ of John Carter well before you did. Maybe even before you were born.

    Ross should be let go – for green lighting an enormously expensive project, based on a deeply revered (yet compromised) property and handing it off with complete control to someone who had never made a live action film before. Someone who self-admittedly discovered part way through this project that they did not have a clue about how to film such a project. The marketing followed from the agreement that they had with Stanton and from the project’s ill-considered start. If the movie had been the tremendously wonderfullicious epic that you all keep claiming (the party line from the ‘please make me a sequel’ crowd), no amount of bad marketing would have kept people from going to see it. But the (sad) reality is – it didn’t, people didn’t and it closed, probably a week later than it should have.

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