Musical fantasy 'Cats' eats crow at box office, becomes one of the biggest bombs of 2019

Universal's tent-pole Christmas musical fantasy 'Cats' tanks at the box office; 'The Rise of Skywalker' reigns supreme

One of the year's biggest box office disasters

Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper's newest cinematic venture 'Cats', a live-action adaptation of the stage musical of the same name written by world-renowned playwright Andrew Lloyd Webber has grossly underperformed at the box office.

The star-studded film, with the likes of Dame Judi Dench, pop stars Jason Derulo and Taylor Swift along with Idris Alba and late-night talk show host James Corden populating its central cast had a reported $100 million budget which now has yielded a measly $17 million upon its release last week on 20th.

Star Wars takes Christmas; 'Cats' fails to leave a mark

Cats Twitter/Cats

The film was also critically derided upon its release with chatter on the unconvincing and nightmare-inducing CGI employed to make the human-cat hybrid look the film was trying to achieve making rounds online as a primary cause for concern.

Critics who have seen the film are lambasting it for being a formulaic musical with middle-of-the-road writing lacking any creative spark while citing the 'uncanny valley' effect of the characters on the screen as a source of major distraction. Although 'The Rise of Skywalker' came under the numbers projected, it is still doing far-better than 'Cats' raking in nearly $US 600 million taking the number one spot for a Christmas release this year.

Unlikely to become a "sleeper hit" due to poor audience interest

Neither of the releases can be considered to be 'critical-darlings' of the year as both have received their share of lashings in terms of reviews, however, Cats' dismal 18% on Rotten Tomatoes has sealed its fate from ever becoming profitable.

The 2017 Hugh Jackman starring musical biopic 'The Greatest Showman' is one of those rare examples of films that were considered "dead-on-arrival" upon release but managed to become a sleeper hit along the way but that fate is not likely for 'Cats' as the general audience is not impressed with the movie. Only positive word-of-mouth and audience appreciation are the only means through which films like these ever succeed and sadly 'Cats' has garnered neither.