We all make bad decisions around the Christmas period, and I made a real dumb one late last night. Let me tell you about it.
So, you’ve had a few drinks and some nice food and you think “ha, wouldn’t it be fun to see how bad Cats really is?” And so there I am, heading out to see it. In an ominous sign, the evening showing in a San Francisco multiplex was completely empty when I booked it. This lack of interest ties in with what we’ve seen about the movie’s box office, too, and was certainly an indication of just how bad the film really is.
In case you haven’t heard, Cats brought in just $6.5 million over its first domestic week and a measly $4 million internationally. Given that the budget was $100 million (not including marketing), this makes it a huge bomb for Universal and now, in a classic sign of movie desperation, they’re trying to convince audiences that the critics are wrong.
See for yourself:
I see Cats has followed Gotti’s method of advertising. pic.twitter.com/FLWP4fBlqZ
— Michael Cook (@maccookie123) December 25, 2019
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Saying that people who don’t like it are “wrong” is a bold move from the studio, and given that I haven’t seen anyone who’s a genuine fan of the pic, it’s difficult to see exactly who this advert is even marketed at. Even people who you’d assume are the core audience for the film (musical theatre freaks, furries, etc.) seem to recognize its terribleness.
By this point, Universal should probably stop trying to convince folks that the movie is worth seeing because it’s any good and lean hard into how it’s a unique disaster. Hell, I bought a ticket because I’m morbidly fascinated after that cavalcade of reviews calling it surreally misjudged and off-putting. If they play their cards right, Cats could become a cult classic and one of the most kitsch films a major studio has released in years. Just don’t try to sell us that pretty much everybody who’s seen it is wrong about it, because we aren’t buying that.