How ‘Hocus Pocus‘ Became Disney’s Most Popular Halloween Movie to Date. It’s just a bunch of Hocus Pocus! Everywhere you turn during the Halloween season you see the iconic Sanderson Sisters, movie quotes all over themed decorations and items, memes galore, and intricate costumes for Halloween parties inspired by the 1993 cult classic film. The Kenny Ortega directed film was far from a box office success when it originally premiered in 1993, but has gone on to capture the hearts of Halloween fans for nearly 3 decades. The film was torn apart by critics at the time and currently sits at a 37% rotten rating on reputable critiquing site Rotten Tomatoes. Initially, audiences were not very thrilled by the film either. So how did Hocus Pocus become one of, if not THE most popular, Halloween movies?
Fandango and Disney+ have both shared that Hocus Pocus has been a wild success in 2020, sharing that Hocus Pocus is currently the number 1 streamed Halloween movie on Disney+ and also listed as number 1 on Fandango’s Vudu for 5-years running! Disney quietly rereleased Hocus Pocus in theaters to help draw audiences back to cinemas and the film has earned an additional $1.925 million just in the last weekend in theaters.
Back in 1993 critics and audiences were not wrong about their opinions of the films quality. Before you go yelling at me in the comments, let me explain.
The now famous trio of the Sanderson Sisters, Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker, did not carry much weight in Hollywood back in 1993, with all three of the actresses just beginning to make their big breakouts in film and television. There were many remarks stating that the Sanderson Sisters featured plenty of over acting while the rest of the cast was noted as lackluster and passable at best, but it’s not the initial performances that have audiences captivated to this day.
A primary reason the film has seen so much success recently, especially in the last decade or so, is that it was a hit among kids and teens who didn’t have a voice in how successful the movie was perceived back then. As time has gone on nostalgia has been a major factor in the continuing success of the movie. There has been such a high resurgence in popularity that Disney is currently developing a sequel to Hocus Pocus that is slated to premiere exclusively on Disney+ in the next couple years.
Though no formal casting decisions have been made at this time for Hocus Pocus 2, the original Sanderson Sisters, Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker, have all been very vocal about their interest in reprising their respective roles as Winifred, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson. Director Adam Shankman has been tapped to helm the highly anticipated Hocus Pocus sequel, with Jen D’Angelo penning the script.
Hocus Pocus is now available to stream on Disney+ and in select theaters for a limited time. Be sure to check back here at Chip and Co. for all things Disney!
Featured Photo Credit: Disney