HOCUS POCUS Returns to Theaters Just In Time For Halloween

Disney’s cult classic is getting re-released in theaters for its 30th anniversary in October.

By Ryan Scott · @RyanScottWrites · September 15, 2023, 4:51 PM EDT
Image courtesy of Disney

Thirty years after Disney fumbled the initial release of Hocus Pocus, the resilient cult classic is returning to theaters - just in time for Halloween! Indeed, Disney has confirmed, via the movie's official social media accounts, that the 1993 film about a trio of witches returning to Salem will be re-released theatrically in early October. They even cooked up a new poster to commemorate the occasion. Check it out.

What's not entirely clear for the moment is just how substantial the re-release will be. Whether it's more of a Fathom Events thing with a very limited engagement or if Disney intends to keep it in theaters for a few weeks leading up to Halloween. Either way, it's wise of the studio to put it out in October, as the movie's fanbase has grown exponentially in the years since its original rollout. A rollout that Disney botched badly, is worth adding.

It may be hard to believe now, but Disney actually released Hocus Pocus in July, right in the middle of the summer movie season in '93. As a result, director Kenny Ortega's movie pretty much got buried and was a commercial disappointment, taking in just $39 million in its original run against a $28 million budget. But thanks to cable TV and repeat showings year after year, people discovered the movie on their own and turned it into a generational cult classic. As evidence of that, the movie actually managed to do real business at the box office in 2020, when most theaters were shut down due to the pandemic, making $5.6 million in total during that run. It spoke volumes about this film's now-loyal audience.


As further evidence of the movie’s fandom, Disney released a sequel, Hocus Pocus 2, last year. Yet, seemingly having learned nothing from the mistakes made with the original, the film was released directly to Disney+ leaving no opportunity to truly cash in on that sizable fanbase. In any event, ‘90s kids will have the opportunity to revisit the original on the big screen very soon. The synopsis for the film reads as follows:

“After moving to Salem, Mass., teenager Max Dennison (Omri Katz) explores an abandoned house with his sister Dani (Thora Birch) and their new friend, Allison (Vinessa Shaw). After dismissing a story Allison tells as superstitious, Max accidentally frees a coven of evil witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy) who used to live in the house. Now, with the help of a magical cat, the kids must steal the witches' book of spells to stop them from becoming immortal.”

Look for Hocus Pocus in a theater near you on October 6. As a bonus treat (no trick!) check out our original Hocus Pocus coverage in FANGORIA Volume 1 issue #125.