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.

100 thoughts on “We Now Know What Really Went Wrong With Cats

  1. Cats current worldwide gross stands at approximately 60 million dollars vrs its 90-100million production budget.
    Still not a hit movie by any means!
    Yes the reviews were and still are dismal!
    But I don't think it's the Colossal flop that people are trying to make it out to be.
    It's already headed in the cult classic status direction of Rocky Horror with audience members dressing up as cats and meowing at the screen during showings

  2. they had a top notch cast, great dancers and amazing singers, they could just have done another musical or something else! with that budget they could have done something brilliant!

  3. It would have better if we just got to see the to see the actors with no cgi at all. Just give them cat ears headbands to wear.

  4. And… in addition to what others have said. One Broadway performance serves how many people per night? say 200? I don´t know, some small figure like that. The thing is that in theatre you have a limited amount of seats per showing every day, while cinema is a show that runs in many places across the nation simultaneously. To be "Broadway's longest running show" is no guarantee that you will make 100M in the box office.

  5. It’s quite simple where they went wrong. They put it before cameras and started filming. I’ve not seen the film, but have seen the stage show. The reality is, Lloyd Webber used a series of poems by TS Elliot for his inspiration that were not Elliot as his best. There wasn’t anything in the poems that could be described as a plot. The musical therefore had nothing that could be described as a proper storyline – just a basic premise and a load of character portraits. The whole “Old Deuteronomy gets kidnapped and a few songs later is suddenly rescued without much of a struggle” thing felt like an afterthought. Where the show succeeded (certainly in its earlier production) was in the intimacy of the stage setting. There were ‘cat’ dancers going out into the audience and curling up on audience members laps. In the original West End run, kids came from the audience and gathered around Old Deuteronomy on one of his songs, which was encouraged in subsequent performances I that first run. The show relied on its music, clever staging, interaction with the audience and the atmosphere of being a live show. Take it out of a theatrical environment, and I’m sure that costs it some of its appeal and highlights the fact that there is no proper story to get behind. It’s the last musical I would choose for a movie adaptation.

  6. One thing that has bothered me from the first trailer is that they don't look cat size, they look like tiny little mice or something.

  7. From the trailer Cats look like it could have had potential if
    it wasn't rushed out to the theaters and they took some more time to do it right.

    How they could have made Cats better.
    Make them all into ThunderCats.
    Have a few cameos
    Cat Woman , Cat in the Hat, The Cheshire Cat , Felix the Cat and Baby Yoda for some reason.
    Get George Lucas or Steven Spielberg to Direct the next Cats.
    Maybe in a few years Disney will buy the right to Cats.
    Cats Assemble.
    Lol😑🙃🙃🙃😑😶🙃

  8. at least from the trailers, it doesn't look like the issue is substandard cgi work. and that's not really what people criticized it for. they criticized it for its art direction. even before it got to cg, the people calling the shots on the look and feel chose poorly.

  9. I still don't know what went allegedly wrong. I've watched it five times in theaters. As far as I'm concerned almost nothing went wrong.

  10. Went to see it at the cinema, despite the bad reviews. Was actually great. Few good laughs in it, brilliant ballet and more than good enough vocal performances. Absolutely no problem with the CGI. Sad to see the internet bandwagon of people who've never made anything in their lives has killed this film before it got out the gate. Nice to see something that wasn't yawn come out of Hollywood though, surrealistic and interesting.

  11. how many talents can be wasted by poor decisions? this movie is the answer
    amazing dancers, singers, actors and post production studios… but the result… omg

  12. What went wrong with Cats: four words…. Creepy CGI Cat/People Hybrids!!

    I swear I had nightmares after just seeing the trailer.

  13. I went and saw it because of the bad reviews. Was the only one in the theater and walked out after about an hour. I just didnt care. There didnt seem to be any story that I could discern.

  14. The filmmakers ignored why people went to see the stage show in the first place…. a lame excuse to see extremely fit sexy looking people dancing provocatively in tight spandex catsuits…. with a mediocre songs and one nice one and a novelty set of giant scale junk. Passable for an evening to take a date along. Like taking a date along to watch the Ballet…. gorgeous legs and ass set to music. But spending hundreds of millions on CGi when they could just have had some hotties in catsuits was madness and looked way creepy uncanny valley. How many people went to see batman returns to see Michelle Pfeifer acting horny scary in latex? But cover her naked form in digital fur all over and bile would rise in your mouth . Same situation here

  15. What really went wrong with this mess of a project was that it should have never been made in the first place. The fact that it wasn't finished being edited until hours before the premier was a major hint that it was going to be a flop. It's very creepy that the cats have human hands and teeth. It should have stayed on Broadway and far, far away from a cinema screen!¡!¡! This is one movie that I'm going to actively go out of my way to make sure I don't ever see it lol.

  16. For the sheer amount of times we had to see that god-awful trailer before every film we went to see totally put us off even wanting to go see the movie and I never did

  17. I LOVED IT!!!!!!!! IT was NOT off putting None of you saw the Play! It was brilliant! Fantasia!!!! (Not accepted at first ) The plot is better and not bizarre! It is still making money!

  18. Was there some international conspiracy? My friend and I loved it. All the music, which everyone loves as the theatre production did so well, is still there and the choreography was excellent. I prefer the theatre version but this is still very good. Not at all does it warrant such outrage!

  19. My mom, grandma and I all loved it. We had just watched the stage 1998 version a couple of months before, and I had been listening to the soundtrack for a few weeks before seeing it. We all got past the CGI pretty quickly – the performances were stellar. The show is weird. It’s always been weird. Get over that bridge, and it’s easier to appreciate the hard work that did go into the movie.

  20. No matter how rushed this was, poor editing, etc., this was never going to be a movie anyone wasted to see. Just God awful.

  21. If it's not broke, don't fix it. 'Cats' could've been remembered as the Broadway hit that it was. But now it'll only be remembered for its box office bomb that went nuclear.

  22. The pile-on this movie is fun, but unfair. Saw it last night high as a kite with friends and it was a like a psychedelic fever dream. I've never seen anything like it. I think people are going to be watching this along side other cult films like Rocky Horror years from now.

  23. Imagine if it was a fully animated feature rather than this hap-hazard “this is what a furry is right?” CGI human blunder.

    Shoulda went back to Steven Spielberg to revive his old concept for an animated film adaptation. It’s a shame.

  24. I loved the play! AND I loved the movie!!! The play was better than the movie, but the issues being blamed for panning the movie were not a big deal for me or the 3 people I saw it with. I never listen to critics because, as their name implies, all they do is criticize…..which sets the public up to find fault with the movie.

    We went in excited to see it, and we loved it! If you loved the theater production, and/or you love cats, you'll love this movie!

  25. Tom Hooper is a terrible director. Hopefully this massive failure ends his big feature career. On top of the terrible CGI this movie was tonally inept in every way. You had some actors hamming it up like this was almost a parody and others acting it as straight and serious as a Shakespearean drama. He has no idea how to film large dance numbers and his constant whipping of the camera and quick edits takes away from all of the, probably, beautiful choreography. This whole thing was a mess from start to finish and there is no one to blame but the director.

  26. The cgi was what bothered me the least about this movie the movie was bad not because of the cgi it was bad because it was lacking tons of energy some actors looked like they are almost falling asleep during their own song (like the girl that plays victpria), the songs were changed from the original to get a more pop like sound wich is completly unneeded in a musical and most of the "dancing" is just them crawling around on the floor what would made this movie better is not better cgi its if they would use actually broadway preformers who can really sing and dance and knows what they are doing instead of just using big names , the stage show of cats is truly amazing it has amazing dances and songs people need to understand that just because the movie is bad dosent mean the musical is bad.

  27. It's not just the animation, it's the fact that they added "big" celebrity names to try and ensure success. For example, in every trailer I saw, Taylor Swift was mentioned but only had a few scenes.

  28. the very concept was the one 100% flawed and stupid, if you are making a movie and using CGI why use people covered in fur? IT IS RIDICULOUS that is something you accept in a theater production, well because is theater and it has to be practical effects, but in a movie you animate regular cats.

  29. I saw it in the cinema, I’m still confused about what it looks like after the CGI fix, our showing had all the cats with human hands and two of the cats had really scruffy sneakers on.

  30. I’ll say it in less than a 4 min video. They rushed the CGI because this was the first time something like this was made so they needed more time ( I would say 2 years because that’s how long animation takes). Just because you get all these actors doesn’t means it is good. Lastly Cat plot is confusing as hell and doesn’t make any sense

  31. All of this criticism is a load of horse crap. It's a play about…..cats. I can't believe that the same people who will go to a theater and watch people dressed as cats leaping and crawling around on stage, can't suspend the same disbelief and see a movie of people dressed as cats leaping and crawling around on a set? Hogwash. I loved the movie and haven't even see the stage play, but now I want to. I know lots of people who love the play and have seen the movie multiple times and loved it. When did the audience lose their imagination?

  32. I'm sorry. I blamed poor character designer and CQI team of this catastrophe, when I apparently should have blamed the producers and their insane scheludes. I feel like the digital artist team did not get the appreciation they deserved while doing this.

  33. Erlich gesagt, finde ich es sehr traurig, das der Film so zerfleischt wird. Ich finde ihn ganz wunderbar. 😊😍👍🐱❤
    Alle die dort mitgearbeitet haben, haben ganz viel Liebe und Zeit in den Film investiert. HÖRT AUF DEN KAPUTT ZU MACHEN!!! 😠😠👎👎

  34. They should have just just made the characters actual cgi cats or put the actors in costumes. No one ever likes hyper realistic cgi designs, uncanny valley is a thing people!

  35. …not everything on Broadway needs to be on film… (& while am at it not everything needs to be a remake/reboot) …even it does, dont rush to make it.
    when i 1st saw the trailer for CATS, i immediately did like the look of it. i mean the trailer for Tim Burton's version of Planet of the Apes looked tons better than this & was released 18 years ago.

  36. We already knew. One, they went with CGI instead of costumes. Two , they hired celebrities instead of hiring Broadway performers. On top of that this is one of those one good song musicals to begin with.

  37. You know NOW? Before I watch this Video I know from the beginning and I haven't even watched the movie yet, just from the trailer, everything that went wrong XD

  38. What went wrong? They rushed the movie so it can be released a few months before Oscar season and they rushed it and it turned out to be the worst movie of 2019.

  39. I loved this movie, I am so sick of all you so called critics pulling it to pieces, some very good actors in this and was appreciated by me and my family.

  40. I've seen and loved cats five times over the years. And I enjoyed this adaptation, for me it was entertaining. I don't like to criticize people's work. It was different, but sometimes different can be good too. 🤔 I went to the movies with a friend who had never seen cats before, he enjoyed it too.😪

  41. The descriptions of what went wrong – impossible demands, unrealistic deadlines, working until the very last moment to finish it, and more – are identical to doomed software project failures I've observed. I believe that one could generalize these into a description of guaranteed disaster projects that would apply across many industries, and could be used to identify them before their inevitable collapse.

  42. Which all goes to prove wrong the old adage that says, "if they make it, they will come." Hollywood loses hundreds of millions a year and more while people in America go hungry. Where is the fake outrage from our coward in chief, fat ass donnie?

  43. Did anyone find it wasn't so bad? I didn't go to the cinema with any expectations and I thought the aesthetics, lighting and musical numbers were quite beautiful. Maybe because I hadn't seen the play and held no expectations I was pleasantly surprised?

  44. Estou Preso entre o que é Real e o que e CGI .. Mas de uma coisa tenho certeza sinto muito Vergonha Alheia Apenas em Olhar para esta Produção de U$$ = 100.000.000,00 Que se torna um marco no Maior Fiasco do Cinema Mundial ..

  45. The problem? It wasn't animated. Picture Cats done like The Aristocats = beautiful drawn or CGI rendered cats who LOOK like cats. That's what I assumed this was going to be, when I heard they were adapting it. The trailer was an unpleasant shock. 😛

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