It once must have seemed a can’t-miss idea, a big-screen adaptation of the long-running stage musical “Cats.” Now the fallout from the critically reviled movie has continued as the movie’s distributor, Universal Pictures, has removed it from its awards season FYC (for your consideration) website.
The site now spotlights only the Universal releases “Us,” “1917,” “Queen and Slim,” “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” “Abominable” and “The Secret Life of Pets 2.”
This is only the latest indignity suffered by the movie, which has received withering reviews and has wildly underperformed at the box office. On the movie’s opening day, theaters were notified that an updated version was being sent soon with “some improved visual effects.”
Directed by Oscar winner Tom Hooper, “Cats” stars ballerina Francesca Hayward in her film debut alongside a cast that also includes Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, James Corden, Jason Derulo, Rebel Wilson and Taylor Swift.
An original song from the movie, “Beautiful Ghosts” written by Swift and the musical’s composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, was nominated for a Golden Globe, the only recognition from the Globes that the film received. Then the song didn’t even make the shortlist for a nomination at the Academy Awards. The movie did, however, make the Oscars shortlist for consideration in, of all things, the category of visual effects.
In his review of the movie, Times film critic Justin Chang declared, “I am hard-pressed at the moment to think of many worse movies. I say this with zero hyperbole and the smallest kernel of admiration. For the most part, ‘Cats’ is both a horror and an endurance test, a dispatch from some neon-drenched netherworld where the ghastly is inextricable from the tedious. Every so often it does paws — ahem, pause — to rise to the level of a self-aware hoot.”