HOCUS POCUS is such a beloved film that it’s easy to forget that it was a bit of a clunker when it debuted 28 years ago. The 1993 film made less than $40M at the box office, and the critics ripped it apart. Roger Ebert gave the film 1-star saying, “A good movie inspires the audience to subconsciously ask, “Give me more!” The witches in this one inspired my silent cry, “Get me out of here!”
Time has been kind to HOCUS POCUS. The film has taken on cult-like status. Interestingly, HOCUS was Kenny Ortega’s second film as director, his first being NEWSIES, another film that has aged well beyond its ill-received initial release.
Ortega cut his teeth as the choreographer on XANADU and the mid-80’s classics like ST. ELMO’S FIRE, DIRTY DANCING, PRETTY IN PINK, and FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF. He was the rare choreographer who became a household name. Ortega would later go on to direct the highly influential HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL in 2006.
For HOCUS POCUS 2, Anne Fletcher, another choreographer-turned director, is at the helm. Fletcher is perhaps best known for her work as the director and choreographer for STEP UP. From there, she directed the hits 27 DRESSES and THE PROPOSAL.
Disney gave us our first look at POCUS 2 this week. So it seemed like a good time to add it to The Quorum. Even though the film doesn’t have a formal release date, it already has 43% awareness, which is good enough to rank it 7th among all films were currently tracking.
At the moment, the film is slated for a Disney+ streaming release, but with numbers this strong, is a theatrical release in this film’s future? We will have to wait and see, but for now, we say welcome to HOCUS POCUS 2.