The list of people who hate Cats includes, but is not limited to: the critics, the cast, Evan Rachel Wood, and the five separate groups of people who walked out of the showing I went to last weekend. Generally, audiences aren’t even interested in hate-watching Cats, so much so that it could lose as much as $100 million at the box office. Not your year, Cats!
Variety reports that Cats has thus far earned only $38 million globally, which, considering both its $100 million filming budget and the $95 to $100 million Universal spent marketing and distributing it, is not great. Variety estimates Cats could lose up to $100 million, and though Deadline’s projected a slightly kinder $71 million, that’s still a lot of money wasted on CGI garbage. (This is both figurative and literal, as James Corden spends an inordinate amount of Cats’s runtime eating fake garbage out of the trash.)
It’s not exactly news that Cats is flopping—the film only made $6.5 million domestically during its opening weekend, which is nothing for a big budget holiday film—but apparently studio executives hoped to see a small bump over Christmas. Based on my Twitter feed, everyone went to see Little Women instead.
So that’s embarrassing! More embarrassing: Universal reportedly pulled Cats from its Oscars campaign, removing mention of the film from the studio’s “For Your Consideration” page on its website. No word yet on whether director Tom Hooper will retroactively lose the Oscar he won for The King’s Speech over this, a move that, while unprecedented, might be warranted, particularly when considered alongside Les Miserables, which also sucked.
I suspect Cats will do well as a midnight movie in the near future, since it is the kind of film one might enjoy while throwing things at the screen and, I don’t know, simulating cat orgasms, I guess? Best of luck, Team Cats.