In the aftermath of RKO taking heavy financial losses on expensive productions, the studio hired Val Lewton to form a production unit tasked with producing low-budget horror films to emulate the lucrative business in horror done by its rival, Universal. Between March 1, 1942, and August 17, 1945 the Lewton Unit at RKO produced eleven low-budget features, nine of them marketed as horror films. The first, Cat People, did remarkably good business, and the series as a whole fared well financially.