Cats c universal

Cats Studio: Universal, Director: Tom Hooper, UK Release: December 20

Universal Pictures has sent an updated version of its new musical Cats to exhibitors in North America after director Tom Hooper wanted to tweak the effects.

The studio told theatres on Friday about the move and said the updated version would be ready by Sunday for theatre operators that could access a satellite server, and by Tuesday via hard drive for others.

It is an unusual move that means theatres that played one version of the film on opening day Friday will screen a tweaked version by early next week at the latest.

Hooper had reportedly been working on integrating complicated effects shots on his adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s legendary Broadway show right up to the film’s premiere last Monday (16).

Cats opened in North America over the weekend in fourth place, earning a feeble $6.5m from 3,380 theatres, and arrived in its first international market the UK in second place on $4.4m. It was largely savaged by critics and features an all-star cast led by Judi Dench, James Corden, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson, and newcomer Francesca Hayward of The Royal Ballet.

Working Title produced the $100m film. Universal did not reply to a request for a comment on Sunday.