The Cat In The Hat
|Budget: $109 million||Financed by: Universal; DreamWorks|
|Domestic Gross: $101,149,285||Domestic Distributor: Universal|
|Overseas Gross: $32,811,256|
Directed by: Bo Welch
Produced by: Brian Grazer
Back in 2000, Universal and Imagine Entertainment sued Mike Myers — who also counter sued — over a project called Dieter, in which Myers claimed he was being bullied into going into production with a script he did not approve, despite the odd fact that he wrote the script. Production designer Bo Welch was set to direct Dieter when the project derailed and got legally messy. It was quite the surprise that Universal and Imagine decided to get back into business with Myers with this Dr. Seuss adaptation after their box office success with How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Universal partnered with DreamWorks to co-finance The Cat In The Hat for $109 million and Bo Welch finally got his first directing gig. On top of an expensive marketing blitz, tens of millions of dollars were spent on promotional tie-ins with Burger King, Hershey, Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods, MasterCard, Pepsi/Frito Lay, Procter and Gamble, Rayovac, Smucker’s and Jif and the United States Postal Service. Universal opened The Cat In The Hat in 3,464 theaters and reviews don’t get much worse than the hateful write-ups it received. It came in under expectations with $38,329,160. The film saw a 36.2% second frame drop to $24,459,685 but tumbled 70.8% in its third frame to $7,141,855 killing its chances at box office success. The Cat In The Hat closed its run with $101,149,285. The success of How The Grinch Stole Christmas was largely dependent on its huge domestic gross, which accounted for 75% of its worldwide take and The Cat In The Hat also had 75% of its worldwide total come from its domestic gross — which is troubling since the overseas gross was a mere $32,811,256. The worldwide total was $133.9 million, returning about $73.6 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not even cover the worldwide P&A costs. The negative reception caused Seuss’ widow Audrey Geisel to block any future live-action adaptations from being put into production. Bo Welch never directed another film and went back to being a production designer.