Months ago, film fans feared the worst as they sat in horror and watched the first trailer for Tom Hooper’s “Cats.” Could it be that bad? Surely, the all-star cast and legendary music numbers would lead this film to become a holiday box office hit, right? Well, we are now a week removed from the theatrical release of “Cats” and the nightmare became reality. “Cats” isn’t just bad. The musical is now an embarrassing blemish on the year for Universal and apparently, for actor James Corden.
Those who were talking about awards season before “Cats” screened for the press and general public will likely remember that Universal had the film featured on its annual “For Your Consideration” website, alongside critical and commercial hits such as “Us,” “Queen & Slim,” “1917,” “Secret Life of Pets 2,” “Abominable,” and “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.”
Well, a week after “Cats” has completely bombed at the box office and become the laughing stock of the holiday film season, Universal has seemingly retreated and taken “Cats” off the “For Your Consideration” website. Apparently, the studio would rather awards voters not consider “Cats” for, well, anything. Sorry, Tom Hooper.
Another black eye for the film comes from a recent interview with James Corden on BBC Radio (via TMZ). During the interview, the actor (who has some of the most disturbing hand-paws you’ll ever see) was asked if he had subjected himself to the horror of “Cats.” Perhaps surprisingly, Corden said that he hadn’t seen it yet, but what he’s heard hasn’t been kind.
“No, I haven’t seen it,” he seemingly joked. “I heard it’s terrible!”
The interviewers, being the consummate professionals, said that they have had friends and family sincerely enjoy the film. Corden said the mixed reaction fits the musical.
“That’s always been the musical, ‘Cats,’” he replied. “I’ll catch it one day, I imagine.”
It’s clear that “Cats” isn’t going to be the box office powerhouse or awards season contender that Universal was hoping for. And it’s obvious that the actors are not immune to the criticism that has been lobbed at the musical. But it’s a bit sad to see this sort of reaction merely a week after the film’s release.
If you want to see what all the buzz is about, “Cats” is in theaters now. But probably not for long, so check it out.