'Cats' movie flops at box office after poor reviews

Universal Pictures is dealing with a cat-tastrophe at the box office due to low ticket sales and bad reviews of Tom Hooper's adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's “Cats.”

The much-ridiculed big-screen musical, featuring infamous “digital fur technology,” scratched out just $6.5 million in ticket sales, sending Mr. Mistoffelees (and Universal Pictures) home licking their wounds.

The $100 million production, featuring an ensemble including Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, James Corden, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen and Taylor Swift, came in behind projections and opened in a distant fourth place. The movie drew an 18% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes and a C-plus CinemaScore from audiences.

“Even modest opening in this extraordinary lucrative corridor can prove very kind to films," said Jim Orr, chief of distribution for Universal. He anticipates the film's strongest demographic - older moviegoers - will be most available over the holidays. "Our scores from those who are 55 and up are very good and very encouraging.”

Holdovers “Jumanji: The Next Level" ($26.1 million in its second weekend) and “Frozen 2” ($12.3 million in its fifth weekend) both surpassed “Cats.”