It’s safe to say that Universal’s Cats is pretty much a bust. From the trailer to the opening weekend, now going into the second week, the movie has garnered harsh reviews from both professional critics and the public.
Cats opened with a rather dismal debut, earning only 6.6 million domestically in its first weekend. In total, going into the second week, the movie has grossed about 38 million, both domestically and internationally.
When you factor in the movie’s 100 million-dollar budget, before marketing, Universal is set to take a huge loss.
A surprise to no one, Universal has stopped campaigning for the 2020 awards season.
So What Went Wrong?
Cats has been described by viewers as more nightmarish than fun, and the CGI is so bad that Universal is taking an unprecedented step and sending theaters a version with updated visual effects.
The characters are too human to be cats and too cat to be humans in costumes. The creators are clearly going for camp, but the end result is CGI humanoid cats who are decidedly more freaky than campy.
The film has an all-star cast, but it isn’t enough to save a story that should be left on stage. The strength of Cats is its theatricality and the movie replaced that with slightly terrifying special effects and a story that just didn’t capture audience hearts.
In the wake of the Cats premier, Twitter pretty much lost its mind, resulting in hilarious threads like this one:
The upside? We all got some entertainment out of the whole mess, even if it came from the reactions, rather than the movie itself.