When the trailer for the movie Cats came out last summer, it was met with euphoric, gawping revulsion. The whole look of the thing was dazzlingly askew; the hybrid animation used to turn the actors feline had created something that viewers wanted both to watch and to look away from. Dislikes outnumber likes on YouTube by nearly three to one – but the video has been watched more than 16 million times. The trailer appeared days before Boris Johnson became prime minister. The film itself was released immediately after his general election success in December. Rumours suggested that it was being edited and rejigged right up to the last minute. It was said that it was being held back from reviewers for as long as possible. The hope seemed to be for either a word-of-mouth success that would bypass critical opprobrium or a cult triumph that would revel in it. Johnson’s electioneering worked along oddly similar lines.