Earlier this year, a rumor spread that not only was Disney developing a sequel to the 1993 cult hit Hocus Pocus, but that Tina Fey was on board as a producer. Hocus Pocus fans were quite intrigued - that is, until a few hours later when Fey clarified that while she was indeed working on a witch movie for Disney, it was in no way related to Hocus Pocus. While that news was disappointing, the inaccurate report did accomplish the unintentional goal of getting the film's devotees all fired up about a potential continuation of the franchise.
As it turns out, the fans aren't the only people who would love to see a Hocus Pocus sequel.
Bette Midler - who starred as villainous witch Winifred Sanderson in the original film - was asked about the prospect of reprising her role for a sequel during a recent Reddit AMA, and replied with nothing but positive sentiments. Not only is Midler ready and willing to return, she also says her co-stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy are interested in reforming the Sanderson sisters as well. Unfortunately, the ball remains in Disney's court as to whether a sequel will ever happen.
Here are her full sentiments:
"Inundate the Disney company. Because I have canvassed the girls and they are wiling to do it, but we have no say in it, so if you want a 'Hocus Pocus 2,' ask the Walt Disney company. "
Well, that's certainly encouraging news for Hocus Pocus' legion of fans, but it doesn't change the fact that Disney has never seemed to seriously consider making a sequel up to this point. It may not seem like it, but it's been over two decades since Hocus Pocus first enchanted audiences. If Disney was going to continue the franchise, it's logical to think that they would have done it before now.
One factor that many Hocus Pocus lovers seem to forget is that the film was not at all a box office smash, earning less than $40 million total in theaters. This was not a small-budget movie, and a gross that low wasn't remotely considered a success, even back in 1993.
While Hocus Pocus has certainly made up some of that ground over the years in home video and merchandise sales, the movie has always been more of a diamond in the rough than a shining star of the Disney lineup. Disney has seen a few hyped-up blockbuster movies bomb, so they definitely don't want to put in millions for a sequel that might do the same. Cult success does not necessarily translate to crossover appeal.
What do you think? Do we need another Hocus Pocus film? Or should Disney just leave well enough alone?
Stay tuned for more news on a possible Hocus Pocus sequel.