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'John Carter' fallout? Disney's Ross resigns

Published April 20, 2012 11:40 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

So maybe there is a price to be paid for the box-office failure of "John Carter."

Rich Ross, chairman of Walt Disney Studios - the moviemaking arm of the vast Disney empire - resigned this morning.

"I no longer believe the Chairman role is the right professional fit for me," Ross said in a statement released by Disney today (and quoted in The Hollywood Repoter).

Ross has been chairman of Disney's movie division since October 2009, when Disney CEO Robert Iger promoted him from his job running Disney Channels Worldwide.

Ross didn't greenlight "John Carter" — which cost $250 million to make, and forced the studio to take a $200 million writedown in March — but his handling of the would-be blockbuster led to tension with Disney's other big name, animation studio chief creative officer John Lasseter (who is Pixar pals with "John Carter's" director, Andrew Stanton).

One project Ross did greenlight, a Jerry Bruckheimer-produced remake of "The Lone Ranger" starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp, is now shooting around the Southwest — and is scheduled to shoot around Moab, Utah, this summer.