Hocus pocus 2 broke the record for the total number of minutes watched by a streaming film across its weekend debut.
As the spooky season is upon us this autumn, many at-home viewers have been looking for movies to scratch that Halloween itch and some have found comfort in rewatching old favorites to get into the holiday spirit. One of those nostalgic films that a lot of fans have flocked to is Hocus Pocus, and the sequel Hocus Pocus 2 was released on Disney+ in September. Now, Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Hocus Pocus 2 has broken a new streaming movie record for the total number of 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 on streaming as the film has accumulated 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 a reprisal of their witchy roles that the actors originated in the 1993 Halloween classic movie. The film had already broken a record last month for the subscription streaming service when it became the most viewed premiere of any Disney+ film to date, which should be welcome news to Disney as it looks into a third installment of the Hocus Pocus franchise.
Hocus Pocus 2 brought back the three lead witches from the original film, which was released in theaters in the summer of 1993. It was a modest hit financially, grossing over $45 million at the box office against a budget of $28 million and making stars out of its young cast, including Omri Katz, Vinessa Shaw, and Thora Birch. Hocus Pocus entered cult-favorite status almost 30 years since it debuted in theaters and has become a classic film to watch amongst families around Halloween time.
As for the sequel, Hocus Pocus 2, the film aims to capture some of the nostalgia leftovers from the first project while at the same time introducing new characters to the mix that would summon the Sanderson sisters again from the grave. Along with Midler, Parker, and Najimy, new cast members were added to tell other stories of the Salem, Massachusetts set flick, including The Afterparty star Sam Richardson, Whitney Peak, Lilia Buckingham, Froy Gutierrez, Ted Lasso actor Hannah Waddingham, and Arrested Development alum, Tony Hale. American actor and famed contortionist Doug Jones reprised his role from the original Hocus Pocus as Billy Butcherson, a zombie former love interest to Midler’s Winifred.
While it appears that Hocus Pocus 2 is breaking records left and right for Disney+ and all streamers, the movie’s reception among critics and audiences is currently a mixed bag across the board. Rotten Tomatoes currently ranks the sequel with a 63% on its Tomatometer based on 146 critics’ reviews, as well as an Audience Score of 51% based on over 5,000 ratings from users to the site. For critics, that is a step in the positive direction compared to the film’s predecessor Hocus Pocus, which received a 38% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 60 critics’ reviews.