The witches are back! By now, it’s no surprise that the cult-classic Hocus Pocus had a sequel released in late 2022 (with a third movie on the way). But, did you know the movie was actually a flop when it originally premiered in 1993?!
“On the set, I feel like we all thought it was going to be something,” Vinessa Shaw, who played Allison, told The Wrap in June 2023 when reflecting on the film. “I felt like we had the right recipe for a hit because originally the movie was supposed to be kind of scary, and they changed it to be more comedic to utilize the actors they hired. The ladies can have amazing timing and they had amazing timing together, which y’all have found out since then! We all just enjoyed their sisterhood.”
However, when the movie came out, she added, “Nobody really got it.” Until years later.
Starring Bette Midler (Winifred Sanderson), Sarah Jessica Parker (Sarah Sanderson) and Kathy Najimy (Mary Sanderson), the movie features the iconic “I Put a Spell on You” song performed by the trio of witches. While summer of 1993 might not have been the best time to premiere such a fall-focused film, it’s definitely come to span generations during the Halloween season.
“Now it is what it was supposed to have been back then, which is amazing!” Vinessa added. “And I just am so appreciative of it, and I’m appreciative of everyone who got it, which is basically the fans and nobody else.”
The movie’s director, Kenny Ortega, was also upset by the movie’s original reception. That being said, he’s thrilled it has become a cult-classic over the years.
“I was disappointed when it didn’t come out of the gate stronger, but I mean it was released in July, and I was still young and coming into the industry as a director, and was like, well, maybe somebody knows something that I don’t know,” he recalled during an interview with E! News from 2018. “But no, we made a Halloween movie! There’s nothing bigger that screens during this holiday than Hocus Pocus!”
Click through our gallery to see what the original cast of Hocus Pocus is doing now.
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