Cats Will Likely Lose $100 Million at the Box Office
Yikes! Variety is reporting that Tom Hooper’s ambitious big screen adaptation of Cats will likely lose $100 million at the box office when all is said and done. This, despite recent updates to the visual FX after its $6.5 million opening weekend. As it turns out, the marketing and overall design of the film just didn’t score well with audiences, who flocked to see The Rise of Skywalker instead.
The trade notes that Universal was banking on the feline extravaganza following in the steps of Fox’s 2017 sleeper hit The Greatest Showman, which opened with $19 million over the Christmas holiday (against The Last Jedi) and legged it out to $434 million worldwide. Cats, which cost a cool $100 million to produce and roughly the same amount in global marketing and distribution fees, has collected just $38 million worldwide (and $17.8 million stateside) since opening on December 20.
Cats was doomed from its first trailer, which was more memorable for its wonky CGI that overshadowed a talented cast featuring the likes of Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, and Idris Elba … dressed as cats. The film earned a dismal 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, and flopped out of the gate.
Will this be one of those flicks that develops a so-bad-it’s-good reputation? And, perhaps, a cult following?
The film stars Tony- and Emmy-winning actor and host James Corden (One Man, Two Guvnors, The Late Late Show with James Corden), Academy Award-winning actress Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love), multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter Jason Derulo, Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actor Idris Elba (HBO’s The Wire, BBC One’s Luther), Academy Award, Golden Globe and Grammy Award-winning artist Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls), Academy Award-nominated actor Ian McKellen (Gods and Monsters), Emmy and ten-time Grammy-winning global music icon Taylor Swift, comedy superstar Rebel Wilson (the Pitch Perfect franchise) and introduces Francesca Hayward, principal dancer with The Royal Ballet.
Adapted for the screen by Hooper and Lee Hall (Billy Elliot), Cats is produced by Hooper and Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, as well as Debra Hayward (Les Misérables), who brought the idea to Working Title. The film will be produced by Working Title Films in association with Monumental Pictures and The Really Useful Group and executive produced by three-time Oscar winner Steven Spielberg, musical theater legend Lloyd Webber, Angela Morrison (Les Misérables) and Jo Burn (Annihilation).
One of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history, the London stage production of Cats received its world premiere at the New London Theatre in 1981—where it played for 21 record-breaking years and almost 9,000 performances. Based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the show won the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical. In 1983 the Broadway production became the recipient of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and ran for an extraordinary 18 years.