James Corden and Rebel Wilson showed that they have a good sense of humor when it came to starring in one of 2019’s biggest box office bombs, the movie version of the Broadway smash Cats. Before the film hit theaters in Dec. 2019, the flick’s trailer was widely ripped for the poor visual effects, many of which had yet to be fully completed. As a result, James and Rebel dressed in their Cats costumes to present the 2020 Academy Award for Outstanding Visual Effects at the Feb. 9, 2020 Oscars ceremony.
Just walking onstage in the outrageous outfits made the A-list audience members laugh. But when it came time to reveal what award they were there to present, it was even more hilarious. “As cast members of the motion picture Cats, nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects,” James explained. They then playfully pawed at the microphone, before handing out the trophy to the team from the movie 1917.
Cats‘ Dec. 20, 2019 theatrical release seemed doomed as soon as it’s trailer dropped in July 2019. It still featured the faces of some actors, messy looking digital fur, and became the buzz of the internet for its poor visual effects. Director Tom Hooper — who won an Oscar in 2011 for directing The King’s Speech — told our sister site IndieWire in Dec. of 2019 that, “We’d only finished shooting in March, so all the visual effects [in the trailer] were at quite an early stage. Possibly there were, in the extremity in some of the responses, some clues in how to keep evolving [the production]. When you watch the finished film, you’ll see that some of the designs of the cats have moved on since then, and certainly our understanding of how to use the technology to make them work has gone up, too.”
— Variety (@Variety) December 17, 2019
On Dec. 16, 2019, Tom told our sister site Variety at the film’s NYC premiere that they’d been working for the past “36 hours in a row” to complete the film’s heavily CGI dependant effects. They literally worked until the very last-minute before the film premiered,. Even though some errors still made it through to the release due to the rush job. That included Judi Dench‘s human hand with her wedding ring on it visible. Cats was destroyed by critics and ignored by audiences. As of the Oscars Feb 9, 2020 airdate, the film had made a mere $27.2 million in U.S. domestic box office, despite it’s nearly $100 million production budget. That doesn’t even include promotion and advertising, and it’s estimated that in the end the flick will end up taking a $100 million loss.