Cats (2019) (copy)

All the pieces were there. An Oscar-winning director. Oscar-winning cast members. An original song by Taylor Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber. A screenplay based on a smash-hit musical about cats, an animal many people like and enjoy. How could it go possibly wrong? 

Some movies just seem destined for Oscars glory. They have big-time directors, big-name stars and big buzz. They have premises Oscar voters go gaga over: biopics, inspirational stories, odes to Hollywood. They have plum release dates near Christmas and glowing reviews from their film-festival premieres.

But occasionally, come Oscar season, those movies flop. Hard. Despite their Oscar-bait status, they don’t catch on with voters and they go home without any (or many) nominations. This is usually because there are only so many nomination slots, and not every movie makes the cut.

But sometimes, it’s just because those movies are bad. The big-name director lost their edge. The big-time actors mailed it in. The big buzz ran into a big buzz saw.

We just saw one of the best examples of this phenomenon with “Cats,” a nightmarish movie musical that had legitimate Oscar buzz prior to its release, only to become this generation’s disasterpiece equivalent of “The Room.”

So, ahead of Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony, we’ve decided to look not at this year’s nominees (see Sunday’s World-Herald for predictions), but at notable Oscar flops over the last decade. Because there are so many — and because most are in the “just missed” category instead of the “dumpster fire” category — we’ll limit ourselves to one per year.

The best movies, concerts and more coming in February


Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.

Your sports-only digital subscription does not include access to this section.

Upgrade to full digital for only $3 extra per month. If you need assistance, call us at (844) 466-1452 or e-mail

To start a new subscription or to add digital access to your print subscription, click Sign Up to join Subscriber Plus.

If you’re already a digital subscriber, Log In.

If you need other assistance, call (844) 466-1452 or email

Learn more about Subscriber Plus.