‘Cats’ Is Flopping at the Box Office Amid Negative Reviews

If you thought the reviews for Cats were disappointing enough, it looks like the money that the film is making at the box office is even more rough. In its first weekend in theaters, the film is getting clobbered by the competition.

Taylor Swift and Idris Elba attend The World Premiere of Cats, presented by Universal Pictures on December 16, 2019 in New York City
Taylor Swift and Idris Elba attend The World Premiere of Cats, presented by Universal Pictures on December 16, 2019 in New York City | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Universal Pictures

The box office performance of ‘Cats’

The film adaptation of the popular musical, Cats is turning out to be a catastrophe at the box office. The film only made $6.5 million at the box office during its opening weekend, which is many millions below its projected $10-$15 million performance. The film’s numbers look even worse once you realize that it cost about $100 million to make.

Despite a star-studded cast including James Corden, Judi Dench, Taylor Swift (in her major film debut), Idris Elba, Rebel Wilson, and Jason Derulo, fans do not seem to be interested in making the trek to theaters this holiday season to see the movie.

However, the brass at Universal is still confident in the film. “Cats features incredible performances from the most talented cast assembled in some time.  We’re confident that audiences will come out and enjoy this musical fantasy as this lucrative holiday period plays out,” said Jim Orr, Universal Pictures’ head of domestic distribution.

‘Cats’ has been panned by film critics

Not only is the commercial performance of Cats not good, but the critical reception also isn’t that great either. According to review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an 18% score, making it one of the worst-reviewed films of the year. The critic consensus on the platform states, “Despite its fur-midable cast, this Cats adaptation is a clawful mistake that will leave most viewers begging to be put out of their mew-sery.”

Stephanie Zacharek of TIME magazine wrote in her review, which was critical of the film but praised lead actress Francesca Hayward: “Hayward is the very best thing about Cats, a movie that, like cats themselves, is otherwise filled with contradictions. Cats is terrible, but it’s also kind of great. And, to cat-burgle a phrase from Eliot himself, there’s nothing at all to be done about that.”

The Wall Street Journal‘s John Anderson said: “Artistically, it’s a hairball. There’s no story to speak of, Mr. Webber’s music is immediately forgettable and, like a cat standing at an open door, it takes forever to get where it’s going.”

Cats is in theaters now.