The fallout from John Carter continues. Rich Ross, who two and a half years ago was the high-profile successor to the ousted Dick Cook as chairman of Disney’s motion picture studio, has stepped down. Ross had come to the motion picture division from the Disney Channel, where he was part of the creation of hits like Hannah Montana and High School Musical.

As Ross took over Disney he oversaw a shift in the studio’s film output to emphasize Pirates of the Caribbean-style material: big, safe crowd-pleasers with a solid merchandising base. But then there was John Carter, this year’s release that the company admitted would represent a writedown of about $200 million. “I no longer believe that the Chairman role is the right professional fit for me,” Ross told Reuters today.

Ironically, this move comes just as Disney prepares to distribute its first Marvel Studios project: The Avengers, a film which is already looking like a lock as one of the year’s most successful releases. Read the full statement from Ross below. Read More »