What Cats Changed In The New Version Sent To Movie Theaters After Opening

Francesca Hayward in dance number in Cats
(Image credit: (Universal))

When the pitfalls of procrastination are discussed, Tom Hooper’s Cats is now a prime example to be mentioned. Often described as “nightmarish” is the movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway musical, Cats purred “flop” from the moment its first trailer dropped over summer. Even after the studio’s best efforts to mess with the VFX, the movie is facing at least $70 million in losses.

Since the backlash months ago, Tom Hooper and the VFX team has been messing with the film – so much so that the director admitted to finishing the film only the day before the London premiere. After Cats hit theaters, Universal released an additional updated version to screens with “some improved visuals effects." But what exactly was altered in this second version?

According to THR, there were no content changes made to Cats in the new version. Tom Hooper, who is described as a “very exacting director” decided to refine small things within the VFX such as lighting, integrating, and actor’s performance time. The runtime remained at a 1 hour and 50 minute runtime as well.

Sounds like the difference between these versions sent to theaters was minor, but perhaps gave Tom Hooper some piece of mind. Cats still bombed in its first weekend, making only $6.5 million during its debut against Rise of Skywalker and going on to make just $43.5 million globally on an over $100 million production budget.

Critics gave Cats brutal reviews, with a combined 21% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences weren’t too happy with the musical as a whole either, giving it a 53% audience score and C+ Cinemascore. Cats does have the love-to-hate angle going for it, considering its star-studded cast donning strange feline-human hybrid looks and it’s tone veering on erotic.

While the movie was initially part of Universal’s award season campaign, the studio recently pulled Cats from its “For Your Consideration” page after the bomb. Taylor Swift’s original song for the movie “Beautiful Ghosts” has been nominated for a Golden Globe though – so who knows? It could still win an award… you know, in between all the jokes it’s sure to get during the Sunday broadcast.

Cats stars Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Jason Derulo, Francesca Hayward, and James Corden – the Late Late Show host admitted he hasn’t seen it after hearing how terrible it is. It’s a notoriously confusing story based on T.S. Eliot’s collection of poems written in 1939, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

What did you think of the VFX of Cats? And how about the rest of Cats? Sound off in the comments below and check out what exciting new movies are ahead in the new year with our 2020 release calendar!

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.