Not even pop superstar Taylor Swift could save the film adaption Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats, which bombed with both critics and most moviegoers.
The film, which was produced by Universal and Working Title, reportedly had a budget around $100 million. But it only brought in $6.5 million during its opening weekend. This was well below its $10-$15 million projections, and it finished in fourth place among films.
Critics especially panned the film, calling it “declawed”, “a triumphant disaster,” and “a future punchline.”
That the film did not do well with critics may not have been a big surprise to the producers the film, as the original stage musical certainly had its detractors. Still, it was the fourth-longest running show in the history Broadway and grossed $4 billion worldwide.
But it premiered nearly 40 years ago, long before millennials were born, and some believe that the whole concept it was just not comprehensible enough for them, even with Taylor Swift and Jennifer Hudson in it. People over 55 years age generally gave the movie positive reviews, but younger viewers — who are, course, the most important demographic — disliked the film so much that they brought its overall CinemaScore down to a C.
PostTrak further gave the film an audience mark two stars.
Signs that the movie was in trouble go all the way back to this year’s Comic Con over the summer. The producers rushed out a trailer to coincide with the release The Lion King, and it was both universally panned and heavily viewed online.
It is further being reported that the director the film, Tom Hopper, was working on it right up until the day its premiere on December 16. What’s more, Universal is so worried about it that it is sending movie theaters an updated version it that they hope will improve its appeal among audiences.