Cats may be one of the most spectacular failures in recent film…memory and though the Golden Globes got suckered into embracing it, the Oscars may have just dodged a furball-covered bullet.
According to Variety, Universal, which shelled out $100 million for the cinematic adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical (not including marketing), has pulled Cats from its “For Your Consideration” page. The page lists all the films the studio thinks is deserving of awards attention, and in what categories, as well as a schedule of upcoming screenings in various cities.
With a surprisingly strong rating of 32/100 on Metacritic and a more approrpoate-sounding 18 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, Cats has been the reason for the holiday season. A gift for lovers of schadenfreude, bad puns, and that true rarity: a movie so terrible it comes full circle to being actually amazing.
“I spent most of Cats with my hands over my mouth, going ’What is happening?’… I had a ton of fun with this,” said FilmWeek’s Amy Nicholson.
“It’s hard to know how to react to Cats, other than gape in slack-jawed amazement that the dare has continued for so long,” wrote NPR’s Scott Tobias.
“This all-star, all-awful screen take on the smash Broadway musical easily scores as the worst movie of the year and arguably the decade. Cats shouldn’t happen to a dog,” punned Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers.
Despite, or rather because of, the critical pummeling it’s taken, Cats is poised to become a cult classic, which is really the best possible outcome since it’s already a box office disaster. The Tom Hooper-directed folly stands to lose up to $100 million after all is said and done thanks to hefty marketing costs and the dismal $38 million its raked in, globally, in its two weeks of release.
Of course, there’s always the Golden Globes. Hollywood’s least creditable (but still most fun) awards show bucked convention and gave Cats probably the only nomination it will get all season, Best Original Song for the Taylor Swift and Webber-penned “Beautiful Ghosts.”
Swift’s Oscar hopes, however, will remain dashed as “Beautiful Ghosts” was also left off of the Academy’s shortlist. But for fans of talking cats, Universal is still backing The Secret Life of Pets 2.