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Fox Filmed Entertainment CEO Tom Rothman steps down - why you should care

Sep. 17, 2012by: Alejandro Stepenberg

20th Century Fox logo

Well wow. 

Many of us film fans have been in a begrudging sort of relationship with Fox over these last years, wherein we keep going to watch their adaptation of various comic book and genre properties only to walk out frustrated time and time again with the creative decisions made by the studio.  The thing is, if Fox has made a decision in the last ten or so years regarding its comic book properties that you didn't like, there's a very good chance that the decision was mainly due to the mind of one man: Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment, Tom Rothman. 

But he announced on Friday that he is stepping down, meaning that January 2013 will mark the beginning of something like a new focus for Fox.  "The film leadership will now be consolidated under current (co-)Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos and television operations will be realigned as a stand-alone unit under News Corporation.  In conjunction with Rothman’s departure, News Corporation announced a reorganization of its studio operations that separates the film and television production units. As a result, the film business will now assume the name Twentieth Century Fox Film, and is comprised of Twentieth Century Fox Film, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 2000, Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios, Fox International Productions, and Fox Home Entertainment."  Insofar as fundamental differences go, Rothman has always been more involved on the creative side of the things while Gianopulos has consistently centered his focus more on the international business side.

A report has also surfaced with The Los Angeles Times that further illuminates the situation, one which says that Rothman has more been forced out than anything else due to to recent business decisions such as passing on TED and opposing the distribution deal signed with Dreamworks Animation.

Just a few of the films he has shepherded into existence over his eighteen-year tenure include: LIFE OF PI, TAKEN, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, BLACK SWAN, WALK THE LINE, JUNO, BORAT, the X-MEN and ICE AGE franchises, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, MINORITY REPORT, MOULIN ROUGE, AVATAR, TITANIC.  Not to mention the fact that during Rothman's tenure, Fox Films has been "nominated for over 100 Academy Awards, won three Best Pictures, and earned in excess of $25 billion in worldwide box office sales."  Rothman also founded (and championed) successful specialty film production unit Fox Searchlight, which gave us quite a few of the better movies from Fox over the last eighteen years.

Can't argue with that, I guess.

Australia red carpet premiere

That's of course Hugh Jackman on the left, then Jim Gianopulos, then Baz Luhrmann, and then finally Rothman.

Extra Tidbit: Actually, I'm going to anyway. As much as I appreciate Fox Searchlight - does this shift mean that Fox is going to stop generally making exceedingly strange and frustrating decisions with its comic book properties, or are we just going to be getting a new person to blame for them? What do you think?

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+3
11:57PM on 09/17/2012
Fuck yeah. This guy had it coming since Xmen3. Now all we need is to get that asshole that canceled FireFly to be fired.
Fuck yeah. This guy had it coming since Xmen3. Now all we need is to get that asshole that canceled FireFly to be fired.
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8:19PM on 09/17/2012

Two important things; one of them related to E.T.:

1. That dumbshit passed on the directorial debut of the man (Seth McFarlane) who has not only to some degree made him millions for over 10 years, but on said film that was all but guaranteed to be a critical and financial slam dunk? What a walking fucking joke, I hope he never finds work again.
2. The Wolverine is currently filming, which means if Rothman did indeed try to fuck up Wolvie again, then Jackman, Mangold, and Co. might have the opportunity to fix whatever damage done; FINGERS
1. That dumbshit passed on the directorial debut of the man (Seth McFarlane) who has not only to some degree made him millions for over 10 years, but on said film that was all but guaranteed to be a critical and financial slam dunk? What a walking fucking joke, I hope he never finds work again.
2. The Wolverine is currently filming, which means if Rothman did indeed try to fuck up Wolvie again, then Jackman, Mangold, and Co. might have the opportunity to fix whatever damage done; FINGERS CROSSED!
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4:39PM on 09/17/2012

O_o

There IS a god!
There IS a god!
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3:52PM on 09/17/2012
I didn't know about his involvement with Fox Searchlight and I hope it does well despite his departure but on a personal note, as a superhero film fan, this is great news. Every story of trouble sets on Fox movies started with him. CEOs should take care of the business and not interfere with the creative side of movies.
I didn't know about his involvement with Fox Searchlight and I hope it does well despite his departure but on a personal note, as a superhero film fan, this is great news. Every story of trouble sets on Fox movies started with him. CEOs should take care of the business and not interfere with the creative side of movies.
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+10
1:20PM on 09/17/2012
I really hate this jerk and I'm damn happy for his departure. He was the one who fucked up the Wolverine movie in 2009 and everyone knows it.
I really hate this jerk and I'm damn happy for his departure. He was the one who fucked up the Wolverine movie in 2009 and everyone knows it.
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9:20AM on 09/17/2012

Things were looking up

Rise of the Planet of the Apes and X:Men First Class were great though.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes and X:Men First Class were great though.
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9:04AM on 09/17/2012

Things were looking up

Except for a few gems, 20th Century Fox has generally made some pretty awful films for as long as I can remember (I'm looking at you too Universal). The quality from Warner Bros. and especially Paramount has been consistently higher as of late.

Look at the highlights from Paramount last year, for example.

1. Thor
2. Captain America
3. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
3. Super 8
4. Rango
5. Hugo
6. The Adventures of Tintin
7. Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Can you even
Except for a few gems, 20th Century Fox has generally made some pretty awful films for as long as I can remember (I'm looking at you too Universal). The quality from Warner Bros. and especially Paramount has been consistently higher as of late.

Look at the highlights from Paramount last year, for example.

1. Thor
2. Captain America
3. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
3. Super 8
4. Rango
5. Hugo
6. The Adventures of Tintin
7. Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Can you even imagine a year here Fox would have this many films that you would consider owning on Blu-Ray?
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8:54AM on 09/17/2012
Here's hoping the door DOES hit him where the good lord split him! Tom Rothman is the asshole responsible for every Marvel film at FOX sucking (including X-Men considering X2 and First Class were the only decent ones they made) I am more than happy that 20th Century FOX is cutting this bastard lose. He hated Marvel and the X-Men films and that means more to me than having over 100 films nominated for Oscars, the three best pictures or the $25 billion in worldwide box office sales. He ruined the
Here's hoping the door DOES hit him where the good lord split him! Tom Rothman is the asshole responsible for every Marvel film at FOX sucking (including X-Men considering X2 and First Class were the only decent ones they made) I am more than happy that 20th Century FOX is cutting this bastard lose. He hated Marvel and the X-Men films and that means more to me than having over 100 films nominated for Oscars, the three best pictures or the $25 billion in worldwide box office sales. He ruined the Fantastic Four franchise as well as Daredevil, and let Brett Ratner's no talent ass ruin X-Men 3. Good riddance to bad rubbish as far as I'm concerned.
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8:35AM on 09/17/2012
As much as It would be nice to think you can primarily blame one person for many of Fox's bad decisions, a lot of their poor superhero-movie releases always smacked of design-by committee or focus group to me, something that's still very much in evidence throught the high-end creative industries.
As much as It would be nice to think you can primarily blame one person for many of Fox's bad decisions, a lot of their poor superhero-movie releases always smacked of design-by committee or focus group to me, something that's still very much in evidence throught the high-end creative industries.
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8:31AM on 09/17/2012

Good Riddance

Now let's hope the new guy leave the film decisions up to the filmmakers instead of forcing their ridiculous ideas on us.
Now let's hope the new guy leave the film decisions up to the filmmakers instead of forcing their ridiculous ideas on us.
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