It’s been thirty years since we saw the Sanderson sisters on the big screen for the first time, and while its original premiere received lukewarm reviews, it’s become a cult classics — and the sequel, Hocus Pocus 2, did not disappoint in any way. In fact, it’s breaking records.
According to Deadline, the movie has taken the number one spot as the most-watched movie ever on the streaming platform Disney+. Since its debut on September 30, the film has also received 2.7 billion minutes viewed, and it’s only been a month.
The spooky film took its reigning title from Disney’s Encanto, which previously held the most minutes viewed during an opening weekend, with 2.2 billion minutes viewed. Hocus Pocus outpaced that record in four weeks' time! In third place is Frozen 2, which has received 2.17 billion minutes viewed.
“It was the simple idea of these three iconic characters returning, said Asad Ayaz, the Disney Studios President of Marketing. “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.”
The Deadline article revealed that though Disney was hesitant to release the sequel in theatres since the original only made 44 million, they knew that a launch on Disney+ would be a smarter choice. After all, there was an obvious demand for it with re-releases of the original in theaters, which banked 1.7 million in 2020 alone. The trailer, which was released in June, racked up 4.5 million views in the first 24 hours.
Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays Sarah Sanderson, recently spoke with Vanity Fair at the film’s premiere and admitted, “To be completely honest, for the past 28 years, I didn’t think much about a sequel. I wasn’t involved in the conversations. When I found out it was going to happen, I was in shock. 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 so much 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.”
Hocus Pocus 2 may have a short reign, however, as Disney is gearing up for the releases of major motion picture sequels, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in November, and the long-awaited sequel, Avatar: Way of Water, in December.
Nonetheless, the Sanderson sisters have permanently secured a spot for their sequel on everyone’s television every Halloween season, and it’s hard to see that ending any time soon.