Hocus Pocus Was A Critical And Box Office Failure Until Fairly Recently

As the calendar page flips in October, fans of the 1993 film Hocus Pocus, starring the brilliant Bette Midler and the equally brilliant Sarah Jessica Parker, begin bi-airing the latest Halloween classic for the Disney Channel and other media outlets. To make noise. Hocus Pocus has achieved cult movie status in the quarter of a century since its release, but back in 1993, few would have predicted Hocus Pocus's staying power. It had a disappointing box office premiere, mediocre ticket sales, and weak reviews. How did a movie with such a ho-hum debut turn into one of the biggest, most beloved Halloween favorites?

Deception, a summary

Directed by Kenny Ortega for Walt Disney Pictures, Hocus Pocus is a family-friendly Halloween comedy about a strange teenage boy who accidentally resurrects a trio of witch sisters who were killed long ago during the Salem Witch Trials. Is. The three witches---portrayed by Bette Midler, Kathy Nazimi and Sarah Jessica Parker--have an unholy appetite for children, and must feed a child's soul before the sun rises on November 1, until they return. Wanting to come into the realm of the dead. They spend their precious evening back on the mortal coil, chasing the teenager who brought them back, their future girlfriend, and the younger sister she is nursing the children on Halloween night in search of eternal life and youth.

Banned by Critics

When Hoax was released in July 1993, it failed to impress audiences and critics. Renowned film critic Roger Ebert scoffed in his review of the film that the Three Witches "do not have personalities; they have behavioral patterns and decibel levels," while New York Times film critic Janet Muslin called the film "an unholy mess". Audiences seemed to agree. It came in fourth place on its opening weekend and dropped from there, initially losing the studio about $16.5 million.

Unfortunate Timing

Astute readers will note that July is a pretty awkward time to release a Halloween movie, and that was undoubtedly a reason for its gloomy start. Why will the film, which revolves around October 31, release in the middle of summer? Well, Walt Disney Pictures had another big Halloween movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas, scheduled to be released in October of that year, and they didn't want to compete with themselves. However, they did not care about competition from others. The weekend that Cheating was released was also the opening weekend for another hot family-friendly flick, Free Willy. One of the most successful franchises of all time, the first installment of Jurassic Park also debuted a few weeks back. Hocus Pocus never got a chance. It's almost as if Disney didn't expect much from a movie that was mostly already done by rookie cabaret singer and little girl from Patriot Games---and for a time, it looked like they were right.

Compensate for your loss

In a blind attempt to recoup its losses, Walt Disney Pictures began airing Hocus Pocus on the Disney Channel and ABC Family (now called Freeform). After joining the film line-up for ABC Family's annual "13 Nights of Halloween," a series of horror family movies that aired until October 31, something unexpected happened: People who opted to watch the dinosaur adventure movie instead. Witchly Romper Fell in love with flicks on the small screen during the hot summer days. It only took a few years for the film to become one of the favorites of the "13 Nights of Halloween" lineup. More than 2.8 million viewers tuned in to ABC Family's first broadcast of Hocus Pocus, and those figures show no sign of falling in the years to come.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.