Hocus Pocus 2 broke the record for total minutes watched by a streaming movie on its weekend debut.
By Matthew Creith
As the spooky season is upon us this fall, many viewers at home have been searching for movies to scratch that. Halloween itchy and some have found solace in revisiting old favorites to get into the holiday spirit. One of those nostalgic films that a lot of fans have flocked to is Hocus Pocusand more Hocus Pocus 2 was released on Disney+ in September. Now, Weekly entertainment reports that Hocus Pocus 2 broke a new streaming movie record for total minutes watched on any streamer for the movie’s weekend premiere.
Nielsen reports that Hocus Pocus 2 is still ranked in the top ten of content available for streaming as the film racked up millions of minutes watched by viewers choosing to stay home and stream the sequel. Hocus Pocus 2 stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy in reprisal for their roles as witches the actors created in the classic 1993 Halloween film. The film had already broken a registration last month for the subscription streaming service when it became the most-watched premiere of any Disney+ film to date, which should be good news for Disney as it considers a third installment in the franchise Hocus Pocus.
Hocus Pocus 2 brought back the three main witches from the original film, which hit theaters in the summer of 1993. It was a modest financial success, grossing over $45 million at the box office against a budget of $28 million and making stars of its young cast, including Omri KatzVinesa Shaw and Thora Birch. Hocus Pocus has entered cult-favorite status nearly 30 years after its theatrical debut and has become a classic Halloween-time family-watching movie.
As for the sequel, Hocus Pocus 2, the film aims to capture some of the remnants of nostalgia from the first project while introducing new characters into the mix who would call back the Sanderson sisters from the grave. In addition to Midler, Parker, and Najimy, new cast members have been added to tell other stories from the Salem, Massachusetts film, including the after party starring Sam Richardson, Whitney Peak, Lilia Buckingham, Froy Gutierrez, Ted Lasso actor Hannah Waddingham and Development stopped elder, Tony Hale. American actor and famous contortionist Doug Jones reprized her role from the original Hocus Pocus as Billy Butcherson, a former zombie love interest of Midler’s Winifred.
While it appears that Hocus Pocus 2 breaking records left and right for Disney+ and all streamers, the film’s reception among critics and audiences is currently mixed across the board. rotten tomatoes currently ranks the sequel with a 63% on its tomatometer based on 146 reviews from critics, as well as an Audience Score of 51% based on over 5,000 user ratings on the site. For critics, it’s a step in the right direction compared to the film’s predecessor Hocus Pocuswhich received a 38% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 60 reviews from critics.