Ever since that first trailer dropped back in July, Tom Hooper’s Cats has become the talk of the internet for all the wrong reasons.
Currently bombing at the box office – so far grossing just $36.9 million worldwide – the pic has now actually begun to develop a cult following of sorts, with many labelling it as a Hollywood disaster that has to be seen to be believed. But that isn’t helping it much in a financial sense, as Deadline has crunched the numbers today to reveal that Cats is on track to lose a whopping $71 million for Universal when all is said and done.
That’s an incredible amount of money and even though the studio did have some very big hits this year, you have to imagine that execs aren’t happy about ending 2019 on such a disastrous note. In fact, they’ve even been forced to pull Cats from awards consideration due to how terribly it’s performing.
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Of course, now the big question is how and why the film turned out to be such a colossal misfire, and while you can probably think of at least a few reasons in regards to what went wrong, Deadline perhaps points out the best one. That being that Cats should’ve never been turned into a movie in the first place.
As the outlet writes:
Let’s just say that there was a reason why this unusual, song-driven (not plot-driven) musical based on T.S. Eliot’s 1939 book of poems, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, didn’t make it to the screen sooner. The whole concept of humans-dressed-as-felines and crooning away might seem ripe for live-stage theater crowds, but it’s enough to make critics break out in hives (20% Rotten) and, unfortunately, audiences too.
Indeed, and as Deadline also notes, “the uncanny valley of cat hair on people just freaked too many out,” which is certainly true as well. You could also blame the competition from The Rise of Skywalker and the fact that the film was initially sent to theaters with unfinished effects. But no matter which way you look at it, Cats will now go down as one of the biggest disasters in cinema history and may have studios thinking twice about which musicals they decide to adapt and which ones should stay on the stage.