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Universal is trying to fix Cats by sending new visual effects to theaters

on December 22, 2019, 11:25pm

From savage critical reviews to a lackluster return at the box office, Cats is the latest film to flop badly. As such, Universal is scrambling to save Tom Hooper’s adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical by sending theaters a new version of the movie with updated visual effects — even after the film opened nationwide.

Over the weekend word spread that Universal was contacting movie theaters asking them to look out for a new copy of Cats hitting their mailbox. Twitter user Mike Blacklist broke the news by sharing a screenshot of Universal’s message to theaters.

“Theaters have been notified that updated versions of the movie are in transit,” tweeted Blacklist. “So they’re probably waiting for you to watch it again and revise your review.”

“Please share the following with your theater operations staff and managers,” Universal’s message reads. “DCDC and Deluxe-Technicolor will be sending updated FTR-20 SMPTE DCPs of Cats which include some improved visual effects. The runtime is unchanged.” Universal’s memo was later confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter, which called the studio’s move “unheard of for a finished title already in release.”

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What constitutes “some improved visual effects” exactly? For starters, it should fix some glaring CGI mistakes. One scene shows Judi Dench with an entire human hand, complete with a golden wedding ring band, instead of a cat paw, reports TMZ. The hand is in prominent placement against her torso, too, not just a forgotten graphic hidden by her side. It looks like Hooper wasn’t exaggerating when he told Variety at the film’s premiere that he finalized the movie “at 8 a.m. yesterday after 36 hours in a row.”

No matter what the updated effects are, Cats clearly should have taken its time before being released. Better yet, it should have taken its time before releasing either of its unsettling trailers either.

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