The critics have scratched back and, after a wave of poor reviews and low box office earnings, Universal has suspended its Oscar campaign for the recently released Cats. The film has been removed from Universal’s “For Your Consideration” page, and, according to a report from Variety, it is nowhere to be found on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ exclusive streaming platform used to preview films before voting.
The adaptation of the decades-long famous Broadway musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber was expected to perform successfully by Universal, noting its star-studded cast, high budget, and direction from the Oscar winning Tom Hooper. However, audiences reacted negatively to Cats from the start, highly criticizing its trailer upon first release in July. Disturbed by the appearance of the titular humanoid cats, achieved by what Hooper has dubbed “digital fur technology,” the film became a punchline too quickly to be taken seriously by audiences and critics.
In addition to being universally panned by critics, the film failed to earn back even a fraction of its $95 million budget, only grossing a mere $6.5 million its opening weekend. Criticism focused on its unsettling CGI cats, as well as its famously plot-less script.
Cats is still available to see in theaters nationwide, though do so at your own risk.