We Now Know What Really Went Wrong With Cats

We Now Know What Really Went Wrong With Cats


Cats might have nine lives but the film adaptation
of Cats was basically dead on arrival. Perhaps it sounds overly dramatic to declare
Tom Hooper’s Cats a full-fledged cinematic calamity… but at this point, the facts are
rather indisputable. Now, after a few weeks in theaters, the film
stands to lose a whopping $100 million for Universal. That’s even after its unprecedented theatrical
re-release, which found the filmmakers attempting to “fix” the terrifying and ever-offputting
CGI felines. “Seems like they scrambled and they rushed
to re-edit the film.” Meanwhile, the studio quietly yanked Cats
from its “For Your Consideration” page, effectively ending the film’s Oscar campaign before it
had a chance to really begin. Don’t make us say it: The film is one serious
cat-astrophe. “Bah dum tiss” Between its abysmal box office performance
and wildly low Rotten Tomatoes score, it’s clear that audiences and critics really didn’t
care for Cats… and just looking at the trailers, it’s not too hard to see why. So what went wrong with this Broadway-sensation-turned-box-office
stinker? Well, in a recent Reddit thread, several VFX
technicians who allegedly worked on the film reveal what went down behind the scenes…
and the situation, if true, sounds pretty dire. Apparently, we can place the blame squarely
on impossible deadlines, unrealistic demands, and numerous poor decisions made by Hooper. “We’ve used digital fur technology to create
the most perfect covering of fur.” “These are people… but they’re cats! And this is kind-of blowing my mind.” As we mentioned, Universal pulled a stunning
move shortly after the film hit theaters, announcing that Cats had to be re-released
in order to address some very obvious CGI blunders. For one, there was the generally unsettling
look of the human faces haphazardly pasted onto digital cat bodies… not to mention
a major muck-up involving Dame Judi Dench’s cat character, Old Deuteronomy. That particular mistake was publicized by
Variety’s Jenelle Riley, who wrote on Twitter: “This isn’t a joke: CATS was rushed into theaters
before being finished so a new version is being sent to theaters with updated effects. How do you know if you have the old version? Look for Judi Dench’s human hand, wedding
ring and all.” Also worth noting: The production schedule
was reportedly so rushed, Hooper kept maniacally working on what was meant to be the final
cut of the film… right up to Cats’ premiere. On the red carpet, he told Variety, “I finished it at 8 a.m. yesterday after 36
hours in a row. I just put the finishing touches on. So, I’m very happy to be here with it fully
finished. The premiere should be the first time people
get to see it, and this is genuinely a premiere.” Meanwhile, We Got This Covered sums up the
Reddit thread by noting that, quote, “poor requests from the studio and ridiculously
short deadlines made quality work near-impossible.” In fact, someone claiming to have worked on
the film’s visual effects wrote, “Blame the director and clients for their
lack of realistic requests.” According to another supposed VFX technician: “Often cats were missing layers, lights, and
cryptos were unusably broken. But you couldn’t ask for a rerender unless
there was something egregious like a whole cat missing. The show was one uphill battle for every artist
and [supervisor] involved, with a client that could only identify what they [didn’t] like,
and [who wouldn’t] offer any clues as to how to get to what they did like. We did what we could.” Another Redditor added: “The timelines of these productions is the
thing that’s frustrating. This movie still may have been a flop even
if it [had been] done well, but the super short schedule is what killed this movie.” Well, as you can see for yourself, the end
result looks incredibly bizarre. Perhaps one of the biggest problems with Cats
is that the movie feels rather driftless and purposeless. Adapted into a stage play by Andrew Lloyd
Webber from a book of poetry by T.S. Eliot called Old Possum’s Book of Practical
Cats, the musical follows the adventures of a group of London street cats. Each of them yearns to ascend to the so-called
“Heaviside Layer” in order to be reborn. At the end of the day, it turns out that a
bunch of singing cats fighting over who gets to die isn’t what box-office bonanzas are
made of. Audience members who did wind up watching
the film likely left the theater wondering what the hell they’d just seen. We have the answer for that one: They’d just
seen one of the biggest box-office bombs in recent memory. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
and least favorite films are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

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  1. Go on…the more fuss and clamour and pontificating surrounding this film will only serve to further publicize and fuel interest in it. I have no great interest in Broadway musicals such as this but will be going out of my way to see this, just as the media frenzy machine typically goes into reverse overdrive. This probably isnt as bad a picture as everyone's making it out to be, its just sleeping.Ready to emerge much later when a new generation are ready to re-christian and appreciate it. Right now, its just a whipping board for the terminally bored.A flavour of the month.

  2. Everyone else is wearing dance clothes, but Tay Tay has to wear hot pants and fancy tights. Why does that not shock me?

  3. It's a film NO ONE asked for so why would you spend that kind of money on something the audience didn't want? Did they even ask people if they'd go watch it? Doubt it.

  4. I don’t understand why they just didn’t go with the costume and makeup style the stage musical used and improve on it. It would have reduced the production costs.

  5. Honestly all they needed was the Broadway costumes and it would have been better. It still would probably be off putting still to the majority but at least the theater fans would at least be happy.

  6. Was it too hard to make the cast wear actual costumes like in Broadway? It would have looked way better. But Cats is pretty inadaptable as it lacks a central narrative and instead it’s like a bunch of loosely connected vignettes.

  7. So Cats basically became the Anthem/Fallout 76/Ghost Recon Breakpoint of movie making. Movie makers shouldn't copy the bad habits of EA, Bethesda and Ubisoft.☕🥺

  8. What went wrong? Aside from taking away what makes Cats special (ie, the costuming, the live unedited dancing, the live unedited acrobatics, the live unautotuned singing, the staging and audience interactivity) and making it into a 99% CGI mess that doesn't even look good when it's supposed to, with a plot so thin you can see through it?

    Oh wait

  9. Should have used CG to make cats more human, not humans more cat. Otherwise you should have hired the makeup artist from the play. Also, hire actors who can sing, and not singers who CANNOT act, emoting with voice alone is difficult for a seasoned professional, but for an amateur it neigh impossible to pull off. Keep "money men" out of scheduling meetings, the director should drive the pace alone since it's their reputation that will suffer should they fail. Too many high ego performers can cause shooting delays and performance issues, it should have been avoided.

  10. Everything.
    The answer is everything went wrong.
    Hopefully something kills Hollywood the same way they did slaughtered Cats

  11. Hello-
    '
    what i find fascinating is that people are reacting to Cats' failure as if no other big studio Holiday release ever failed and this
    is the first time its ever happened.

  12. What do you mean you finally know what went wrong with cats?! They made cats a musical into a movie that’s what’s wrong with it!

  13. I’ll tell u why it flopped. No body cares for cats the theater show and no one was gunna care for the movie.

  14. look this could have only worked, if they either just made a full on Animated Movie similar to Pixars Movie or just make a Movie about real people doing the Musical Cats with added Story. But Using CGI to create Ugly looking Cat Mutants is just.. No

  15. While with all due respect the movie was not at all too impressive as a story, the musical scores and the talent was amazing. Cats could have simply been a human adaptation instead of actual half-human/half-feline creatures and it would have been then a huge success… kind of like Fame, but not at all close to Fame.

  16. Boy, I must be one of the few people on Earth who actually likes this movie. Yeah, it’s obviously got a ton of issues and apparently a very troubled production history, but I had fun with it. Guess I’m just a sucker for dancing, kitties and surreal imagery. Thanks for the video.

  17. The problem with cats is it's a theatrical play that has never had a real plot. You don't go see cats for the storyline. You are their to see the set, music, and how the actors move like cats

  18. I think the only problem I had with cats was them casting Judi Dench as Old Deuteronomy. Most of the Deuteronomy‘s are played by high operatic baritones or dramatic tenors. Judy Dench is neither one. I don’t know what the casting director was thinking when they picked her. Don’t get me wrong, I think Judy Dench is an excellent actor but not right for this role. Do you wanna hear a good recording of the addressing of the cats, listen to the Ken Page version and that’s how Deuteronomy is supposed to sound.

  19. You should also have talked about the awful release date. I mean seriously whoever thought "ya let's release it on this date because there clearly isnt another movie that's coming out that same day especially not from a franchise with an unbelievable following and created by a company that owns half of hollywood…" just dumb all around!

  20. For people who say this should be an animation, NO! Cats is about choreography and songs. And I kind of agree that even if the visuals were impeccable, the movie might have still been a bomb.

    Cats is very niche as it has no plots and dialogues. People watch it need to appreciate its choreography, muscles and imaginative quirkiness alone, which is rare in this formulaic superhero/Disney movies. If they added more dialogues and plots, it would also upset the musical fans.

    The mistake they made is that they spent too much money on such a niche product, that shows its full potential on stage as a live performance. They should have just hired newer stars and use fewer special effects to save money. I mean…hire someone like Francesca or Robbie to perform, and maybe Taylor swift for her star power and song. That's it. I doubt the star power help bring many people to see cats, which what they assumed in their 2nd trailer

  21. What went wrong is that someone thought it would be a good idea to make this movie.

    Hollywood needs some new ideas.

  22. This video is 4:50 too long. You need only 5 seconds to sum up this shitshow…….CGI HUMAN/CAT HYBRIDS (WITH NO FUR).

  23. I saw it last night, I feel like it could have worked had there been more dialogue between the characters rather than switching from song to song with almost no interruption. Another thing is that while some of the actor’s faces blended in as seamlessly as they could as a cat, more others didn’t. Particularly Taylor Swift’s character. Watching the movie you sense that that’s the performance they’re making you wait on and she finally shows up and it’s Taylor Swift’s face but rounder and orange. I also don’t understand why they had human hands

  24. If they had pumped the money into costumes and makeup, and kept the songs in the original arrangements, they could have had something to at least appease theater fans.

  25. Actually, audiences left the theatre wondering why quite so many people hated this movie so much. For me, it was quite a whimsical, fun movie! I’m not saying the animation wasn’t initially off putting, but the fantastic music and exceptional dancing kept this movie from dragging on or feeling too out of place. Come on people; you need to be able to go into this movie knowing you’re going to have to suspend your disbelief a bit. Once you start rolling with the idea that, yup, these are cat people, it’s a really fun time to sit back and enjoy these goofy/fun/sincere performances!

  26. Hopefully it’s shit like this that convinces studios that not everything needs to be made into a fucking movie. How about they go back to the good old days when they actually created interested movies from scratch.

  27. I’ll be the guy to say it, not everything was bad.

    The lead cat girl was pretty hot. Judge away. And tbh I actually kinda liked the cgi (stay with me here). Yeah it’s weird, sure, but so is the stage production. But honestly even looking past the look of it all, there was a lot it had going against it.

    The story was weird and made very little sense when conveyed onscreen, and most of the choreography was just plain bland because it was clearly meant for stage. And unlike Les Misérables there wasn’t Oscar winning acting to hide is weak points. Of which Les Misérables had many.

    Some of the numbers were fun. The tap dancing was kind of cool. Some of the acrobatics were impressive, and it tried to tell a unique story in a unique world. With some jokes that were okay.

    But yeah a whole LOT of it was garbage. Weird, boring, awkward, confusing, and repetitive. With a lot of stuff just…happening. With not much explanation. It was weird. Very weird. But not the worst movie I’ve seen. Enjoyed it about as much as the new Star Wars films.

    I’d give it a 3/10. A 1/10 is a movie with NO redeeming features. It’s bad, I mean pretty damn bad. But it’s not a 1/10 affront to everything good about movies let’s be real.

  28. Looper sucks. Hate it when they're being all snotty and $#!t. CATS was ok. Its old timey Broadway singing cats. If you can deal with that, then you're all set. Didnt notice any special effects screw ups. Not sure where these people who 'cant figure out the plot' are coming from. Its a bunch of cats who have formed a suicide cult and are competing to be the one chosen to get sent drifting to doom in a hot air balloon. Just like the monotheists who believe life begins at death. Why is this so complicated to those guys?? Hell, I'd smoke some weed and watch CATS again.
    Those who cant do, critique.

  29. I got an ad for a tv show about resurrection and I thought for a second that someone had already started on the gritty reboot

  30. This movie was amazing so entertaining,funny and emotional
    I don’t get why people hate on this.
    I feel like having any sort of expectations would ruin your experience
    I went in without caring anything ppl said about this and it was a beautiful experience.
    And like if you don’t like camp you won’t enjoy the movie.
    Would totally pay money to watch it again tbh

  31. It’s nice that some things can still bring people together – Conservatives, progressives, Christians, Muslims, atheists, all united in their dislike for this movie

  32. Cats barely counts as a musical. Characters wandering unto the scene, declaring who they are and then leaving again is NOT a story, not even an episodic one.

  33. My 7 year old son loved it. He mostly wanted to go watch it for Taylor Swift, so I was genuinely surprised that he didn’t get bored and want to leave because her number is almost at the end of the movie. He loved it and wants to go watch it again. Admittedly, it wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever seen but it was hardly the worst. Cats doesn’t have much of a story to begin with, and even with what little they added, I think that was one of its biggest problems minus the CGI. A lot of people expected a story, but no y’all this is a musical through and through. Just on the big screen. I give it a 2/5. He however gives it 5 stars and says TS should talk more. Lol

  34. They should have used practical effects. The idea to make human cats look realistic is just silly. Tim Burton or somebody else with the kind of imagination for a movie about London street cats should have directed it. This being said – Taylor Swift as a cat is about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen

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