‘Hocus Pocus’ and Other Nostalgic Rereleases Are Big Hits at the Pandemic Box Office

Witches, gremlins, and jedi are drawing people to theaters where they’re open and drive-ins everywhere else

With theater chains shuttering and major studio tent poles being delayed or dying at the domestic box office, films from a more carefree age are doing decent business at the box office.

As the Wrap reports, this weekend, the rerelease of the plaid-era family Halloween pic Hocus Pocus was the third highest grossing movie in America from the theaters and drive-ins that managed to draw audiences. In two weeks, it’s made $3 million, despite it also being available for digital rental and to stream for free on Disney+, making it the highest grossing rerelease of 2020, and just short of the top 50 highest grossing movies of the year.

Hocus Pocus also beat out the reissue of The Empire Strikes Back on its 40th anniversary, which took in $2.4 million this year, and a mostly drive-in-set revival of Jurassic Park, which earned $1.4 million in its rerelease.

Released in 1993, Hocus Pocus has become a millennial obsession in recent years, inspiring memes and more than a little spooky season fervor. Other rereleases that made strides this year with limited in-theater viewing include Back to the Future, Gremlins, Goonies, and Ghostbusters.

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