Hocus Pocus 2 Is Now A Record-Breaking Hit
BY SAVANNAH WALSH
OCTOBER 31, 2022
Hocus Pocus 2 Is Now A Record-Breaking Hit: Hocus Pocus 2 is not only the most-watched movie ever on Disney+ but has broken a Nielsen record for a streaming movie in its debut weekend with 2.7 billion minutes views. According to Deadline, the record was previously held by the animated Disney musical Encanto, with 2.2 billion minutes viewed between December 2021 and January 2022. Coming in third place is Frozen 2, with 2.17 billion minutes watched in the same opening period, as reported by Variety. Tell that to the Texas woman who warned that Hocus Pocus would “unleash hell” on kids with its satanic pleasures.
The Sanderson sisters have cast a spell on audiences once more—no potions required. Nearly 30 years after 1993’s original Hocus Pocus opened to a paltry $40 million and lackluster reviews, its eagerly-anticipated sequel with returning stars Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker has smashed streaming records.
“It was the simple idea of these three iconic characters returning,” Disney Studios President of Marketing Asad Ayaz told Deadline of the movie’s success. “We started the campaign with the tagline ‘We’re Back, Witches.’ And that line served as the ultimate marketing hook of these three actresses coming back 29 years later.”
Another key to the film’s streaming staying power? Instead of the summer release date Hocus Pocus struggled to occupy in 1993, Disney+ capitalized on the unofficial start of spooky season with a September 30 debut. Viewers searching for new Halloween movies that didn’t fall into the all-out horror genre had an entire month to find and watch Hocus Pocus 2—a project that was manifested by the film’s leads.
“To be completely honest, for the past 28 years, I didn’t think much about a sequel,” Parker told Vanity Fair at the film’s New York premiere. “I wasn’t involved in the conversations. When I found out it was going to happen, I was shocked. Bette was the person who imagined the idea for years and thought that this would all happen. She could not be deterred from the idea, and I admire her for believing and fighting for a sequel. The lesson is, listen to the Divine Miss M. She knows what works and how to get it done.”
And gather close sisters because more witchy content could be brewing. The stars and director Anne Fletcher have expressed interest in a third film, and a musical adaptation is even set to run amok on Broadway. Given its clairvoyant boom, Disney would be wise not to wait another 300 years before relighting the Hocus Pocus flame.