Taylor Swift Couldn’t Save ‘Cats’ — Losses Projected at $100MM

Taylor Swift Couldn't Save 'Cats' -- Losses Projected at $100MM
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The film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats has been one of the most talked-about movies of the year for all the wrong reasons. Despite the appearance of pop superstar Taylor Swift, the film has been struggling to make any sort of impact at the box office. In fact, some movie industry insiders believe that the film could ultimately lose as much as $100 million.

Cats opened before Christmas to bad reviews and even worse box office receipts, bringing in only $6.5 million in the United States. The film saw domestic box office receipts rise to $8.7 million in its second week, but this was for a film that was budgeted at around $100 million, which does not include marketing and distribution expenses that could reach another $100 million.

At the same time, the film fell from No. 4 for the week to No. 9, despite a star-studded cast that included Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, James Corden, and Jennifer Hudson. Globally, the film has so far earned $38 million, but this is still well below expectations.

Adding to the costs of the film were changes made to the master reel after it was released. Director Tom Hopper was reportedly editing the film up until the day of its premiere. Afterward, Universal decided to update the film to improve some of its visuals.

The company also had to digitally edit out a mistake in which actress Judi Dench was shown with not only a human hand but one with a wedding ring. The studio is said to hold out hope that the film will still find an audience, similar to how The Greatest Showman found one a few years earlier. At the moment, though, industry experts believe that the film will finish with less than $30 million in domestic box office receipts.

The film suffered not just because its release was hurried. The trailer for the film, which was put out to coincide with Comic Con, was also rushed. This led to a slew of online mockery that may have sealed the film’s fate even before its release.

Some have further suggested that the film suffered from the fact that the musical was a hit nearly 40 years ago, well before the most important demographic of filmgoers were born. The film’s target audience, millennials and Gen Z, are not familiar with the source material and, as such, may not have been as interested in the film as the studio had hoped.

Furthermore, the film’s visual effects have been widely criticized by both fans of the musical and movie critics. The use of CGI to create the film’s feline characters has been described as “uncanny” and “creepy” by many, which may have turned off potential viewers.

Despite these setbacks, the studio remains hopeful that the film will eventually find an audience. The film has already gained a cult following on social media, with fans sharing memes and gifs from the film. Additionally, the film’s soundtrack, which features songs by Taylor Swift and Jennifer Hudson, has been well-received.

In the end, only time will tell if Cats will be able to overcome its rocky start and become a hit with audiences. However, it is clear that the film’s release has been a cautionary tale for studios, highlighting the importance of proper planning and execution when it comes to adapting beloved source material.

5 Responses

  1. Erin

    Whoever approved the hundreds of millions it took to make this film should be fired on the spot. Even if it had done reasonably well at the box office, it wouldn’t have been enough to make money. Who runs these companies? The same people who brought down Sears and Penny’s? The powers that be need to check with the lowly peons who buy tickets and products before they attempt these disasters.

    • Ted

      No true. Hollywood accounting is shady, at best. This film is racking up more and more press from bad reviews. I predict that in future years this will become a cult classic for the very reasons it is being panned, and it will make a profit.

  2. Paul Resnikoff

    Strange: this is a film about Cats, but it seems more like a Dog.

  3. Peter

    I enjoyed the movie both musically & visually, and like to have a personal opinion not biased by a movie reviewer. I have had 60 years experience going to movies, have played instruments and can recognise the merits and learning in my experiences. Cats was certainly worth the experience.

  4. Jim

    We saw Cats the other Day!!
    I have a lot of Music & Theater experience…. Here is my Read.
    A lot of work went into this Film & it was not as Bad as what I had Heard.
    The Singing… Acting….. Dancing was
    Just fine to me.
    The Sets & Costumes were very Hard to take!!
    The Main problem is that….CATS…
    Is & always has been a LOUSY Show!!
    The new Song that Taylor Swift/ Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote was by far the best Song in the Production!?
    I think that Time Will be friendly to this Film.