A streaming film’s success is almost impossible to measure, especially outside the corporate confines of whatever company is streaming it. There are no box office results to weigh and compare; there are no overseas tallies to examine. You might get some sense of how many people are talking about a streaming movie on social media, but even that is not a real microcosm of the broader society.
Maybe one of the only truly reliable ways to determine whether a streaming movie was a “hit,” then, is this one: The streaming service decides to make a sequel. And that’s what’s happening with Hocus Pocus. A long-awaited sequel to the ’90s Halloween favorite debuted on Disney+ last fall. It got okay reviews, and seemed to please many hardcore Hocus Pocus fans. But it didn’t play in theaters, and so it’s hard to judge just how well it did.
But now we know that Disney is at least developing a Hocus Pocus 3. An article in The New York Times about Disney’s upcoming slate of live-action remakes noted in one paragraph that the company “has more than 50 movies in various stages of development and production, including live-action versions of ‘Moana,’ ‘Hercules,’ and ‘Lilo and Stitch. ‘ Yes, ‘Hocus Pocus 3” is happening.”
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The original Hocus Pocus was not much of a hit when it was released to theaters in 1993. But endless viewings on home video and airings on the Disney Channel all through the ’80s and ’90s turned it into a cult classic among younger viewers. Eventually, Disney decided there was enough cache to make a sequel starring all three original lead cast members: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy.
After decades in limbo, Hocus Pocus 2 brought their Sanderson sisters into the present day, for another mildly spooky horror comedy. It didn’t necessarily leave a cliffhanger for a sequel but then neither did the original movie and that didn’t stop Disney from making one.
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The Biggest Disney Bombs at the Box Office
Disney is one of the biggest studios in Hollywood history. But even they release a flop every now and then. Here are some of their most notorious bombs — along with a few titles whose failure at the box office might surprise you.