THE CAT IN THE HAT

Budget: $109m Financed by: Universal; Dreamworks
Domestic Gross: $101,149,285 Domestic Distributor: Universal
Overseas Gross: $32,811,256

cat in the hat 2003 box officeBack 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 got his first directing gig.  Universal opened The Cat In The Hat in 3,464 theaters in the US and it came in under expectations and the critically savaged film pulled in an ok $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, leaving Universal and Dreamworks with 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.