Here’s something no one was really expecting at the weekend box office, especially during a depressed time when there aren’t any new major studio wide releases: Disney’s wide re-issue of 1993 cult classic witch comedy Hocus Pocus is doing rather well at 2,570 theaters on its way to what looks to be a $1.6M-$1.8M estimated weekend in the No. 2 spot behind Tenet.
That’s arguably the biggest amount of weekend cash we’ve seen for a catalog title during the pandemic, besting Disney’s reissue of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back last weekend which grossed $908K at 2,097 theaters.
More impressive is the fact that Hocus Pocus aired on Disney sister cable network Freeform two nights ago on Oct. 1 with Midler live-tweeting. People will still go out to the movies, even now. That said, I hear drive-ins are leading the way for the bulk of Hocus Pocus‘ gross. Disney reported that yesterday’s numbers for the Better Midler-Sarah Jessica Parker-Kathy Najimy movie came in at $650K.
The 1993 Kenny Ortega-directed movie, which made $39.5M after a July release that year, follows a curious youngster who moves to Salem. There he struggles to fit in before awakening a trio of diabolical witches (played by Midler, Parker, and Najimy) who were executed in the 17th century. A new incarnation of Hocus Pocus is in the works at Disney+ with TV writer producer Jen D’Angelo (Happy Together, LA to Vegas, Workaholics).
Most distributors are reporting their figures on Sunday morning, and not throughout the weekend, so we don’t know what Warner Bros. Tenet is making yet, however, it’s expected to lead domestic again, now in its, technically, 6th weekend (its first unreported 3-day being in Canada). Last weekend, Tenet made $3.4M, -28% for a running total of $41.2M. Warner Bros. continues to hide drill-down daily and theater-by-theater box office figures in Comscore so rival distributors and rival exhibitors can’t analyze how the movie is faring.
We’ll have more updates for your tomorrow.