New Report Explains What Went Wrong With Cats


As far as recent cinema releases go, Tom Hooper’s Cats remains the internet’s favorite punching bag, and it’s not hard to see why. Though the film is currently bombing at the box office, you don’t need to have actually seen the movie to poke fun at its unsettling VFX work, which was drawing ridicule months before the flick even reached theaters.

Some films are subtly bad, but Cats can elicit winces and laughs with just a few static images of Jason Derulo and Rebel Wilson looking like monstrous feline-human hybrids. And if a new report from THR is anything to go by, then the movie’s legendary visual effects problems started early and got messier from there.

First of all, for a film that’s so dependent on its VFX, Cats spent unusually little time in post-production. Principal photography reportedly began in December 2018 and wrapped in April of 2019, leaving the team with just a few more months to lay on the digital fur and other animal effects.

Things got more stressful when the infamous first trailer dropped in July. After the incredible backlash received by the various Cat designs, further tweaks were made to the characters, including James Corden’s Bustopher Jones, who was given a bigger mustache and longer hair in an effort to make him look more “comedic.”

On top of that, Hooper has been described as a very exacting director who kept adjusting the effects. The filmmaker himself has admitted that the movie was finished less than 48 hours before its London premiere, and even then, a new version had to be sent out to cinemas after it was found that the first theatrical cut had some unfinished CGI.

After all that hard work, Cats has so far grossed just $57.1 million worldwide on an estimated budget of $95 million, though the movie’s instant so-bad-it’s-good cult status suggests we’ll be talking about it for longer than many of 2019’s more commercially successful films.