The ears wiggle, the tails twitch and twirl and the actors costumed and digitally furred thusly as cat-sized.
And the Internet has been pounding the look of “Cats” since the first trailer dropped last summer.
Reviews — on the younger-skewing, large sample size (many very inexperienced “critics” who tend to go with the pack) Rotten Tomatoes,especially, have been brutal, of a piling on nature. They haven’t been a whole lot better at the more select critic sampling of Metacritic, but there you go.
As somebody old enough to remember the divisive reaction to this audience-favorite when it hit the West End and then Broadway in the early ’80s — a favorite comic’s punchline, and even Robin Williams riffed/ripped on it on his first stand-up LP, ridiculed as “gay” etc — I wasn’t expecting much.
But where it works, it works. The invention and poetry and choreography and performances surpassed the low expectations of it all. It is on track to earn a middling $9-11 million at the box office. It should do OK over Christmas. And with reviews this bad, in general, some people just HAVE to see the fiasco. Those expecting it to be as awful as all that may be disappointed. It isn’t.
Taylor Swift fans, hearing her out of her depth, musically, might have a head-snapping moment.
The last of the J.J. Abrams-conceived “Star Wars” trilogy will win the weekend, earning the weakest reviews of this recycled, derivative series, reviews poor enough to put it in the Jar Jar Binks era of “Star Wars” outings. It’s critic-proof and may yet hit $195 million on its opening weekend. Ticket prices are premium for this production, all the IMAX/RPX etc. theaters, and even modest screening rooms have priced opening weekend tickets higher in some places.
“Bombshell” opened wide, and the Fox News sexual harassment expose is doing what all dramas have done this fall, save for the one about Mister Rogers. It’s under-performing, maybe $7 million from 1400 or so screens.
“Jumanji: The Next Level” has fallen off over 50%, maybe steeper, with a $27 million or so weekend. Still decent money that will keep that in theaters well into the New Year.