Walt Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross—whose name is, yes, comically similar to rapper Rick Ross—has stepped down after just over two years of being the bawse of Disney film production, which is an easy joke Ross is especially in no mood for today. Ross inherited the position after a successful run at the Disney Channel overseeing hits like Hannah Montana and High School Musical, but struggled to translate his skills to the big screen. This is, of course, a very diplomatic way of saying his tenure produced the disastrously costly John Carter, which the company is still very, very upset about, and which led Deadline’s Nikki Finke to declare, “Make no mistake about it… he was fired” despite Ross issuing a statement claiming that he believed the role was no longer “the right professional fit for me.”
Other evidence that it wasn’t a good fit included the fact that Ross was better known for firing longtime Disney executives, bungling marketing campaigns, and cutting projects that were being developed before he took office than actually making movies. Meanwhile, the few films Disney did develop while Ross was in charge included under-performing stuff like Prom, Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time, and Mars Needs Moms in addition to the film that will no doubt come to define his legacy, John Carter. (Fortunately, the company still owns Pixar and Marvel— and also on the bright side, Ross inherited Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland, and The Muppets from his predecessor, so his Wikipedia page still looks pretty positive.) The search is now ostensibly on for a replacement, provided the Disney supercomputer has not achieved sentience by next quarter.
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