How “Hocus Pocus 2” became a charming hit as the most watched Disney+ movie of all time

The sequel to the 1993 family film Hocus Pocus was produced by Sean Bailey’s Disney Live Action team. The sequel to the nearly 30-year-old film can be seen on Disney+.

It’s the most successful movie ever, despite the fact that on the first weekend of October 2020, theatrical markets in New York and LA were closed. Disney’s theatrical reboot of Hocus Pocus led the box office with about $1.7 million.

The film is not only the most-watched movie ever on Disney+ to date, but it set a Nielsen record for a streaming movie in its first weekend with 2.7 billion minutes of viewing. This success of Hocus Pocus 2 was propelled by a marketing campaign.

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The sequel to Hocus Pocus, a real success

“It was the simple idea to have these three iconic characters return,” says Disney Studios president of marketing Asad Ayaz.

“We started the campaign with the tagline “We’re back, witches!” and that line served as the ultimate marketing hook for these three actresses returning 29 years later, on-screen.”

The campaign officially kicked off in June with the surprise debut of the first online trailer. It garnered over 43.5 million views in the first 24 hours, and the reaction was overwhelmingly positive, at 90% on social media metrics. The second trailer was unveiled as a surprise to fans attending Disney’s D23 Expo on September 9 and was released online soon after, producing 20 million views.

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In total, the social media universe for Hocus Pocus 2 encompassed 201 million fans, with custom stickers, GIFs, emoji and a Snapchat AR lens. There were teams with key influencers on Instagram and TikTok for hosted viewing parties, recipes and custom videos to celebrate the film.

It’s said of the success of the Hocus Pocus franchise that “the movie has become in some ways like a Rocky Horror Picture Show – this classic that is a whole generation of kids, families and adults who love the movie and love how funny it is.”

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