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CEO Mechanic Can’t Fix Titan Failure and Resigns

The opening week failure of TITAN A.E. may have been the final straw that has pushed Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman and CEO, Bill Mechanic, to resign. Mechanic has decided to leave Fox and form his own production company much like former Disney chairman Joe Roths Revolution Studios. However, insiders say the abrupt exit was a result of pressure from parent News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch over financial losses and questionable movie greenlights. During Mechanics six-year plus tenure at Fox, the studio has seen some of their biggest hits like TITANIC, PHANTOM MENACE and INDEPENDENCE DAY, while on the other hand has felt the brunt of big misses like THE BEACH and the recent low earnings debut of TITAN. Mechanic was a big cog in the creation of Fox Animation Studios in Phoenix, which has suffered large financial losses since its inception leading to the layoff of nearly 255 employees in February. The higher ups have been disappointed by financial results of the divisions three releases ANASTASIA, its direct-to-video sequel BARTOK THE MAGNIFICENT and the well reviewed TITAN A.E. Mechanic said to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, "ANASTASIA made money, but was it as successful as I wanted it to be? No. TITAN will lose money. For the amount of work we put into the animation, it probably hasnt been worth it." With the Fox Animation top-level supporter on the out, the future of the toon house is in quite a lot of peril.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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