Look: We know that today’s “Disney+ Day” effort to bury the entire entertainment industry under a tide of ostensibly interesting TV show announcements has probably been in the works for a long time—you don’t just summon Oscar Isaac’s weird Moon Knight voice out of thin air. But it’s still hard not to see this morning’s avalanche of promised content as an attempt to put a little distance between the streaming service and its own self-reported problems of late—most notably a recent earnings call that showed that Disney+ subscriber growth has slowed significantly in recent months.
Which demands the question: How much is a single jpeg of Bette Midler dressed like a witch worth to the company’s stock price?
Said query was inspired by the above teaser pic for the long-in-the-works, much-anticipated-by-somebody Hocus Pocus 2, which will see Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker reprise their roles as the Sanderson Sisters wot imperiled Omri Katz oh so many years ago. And, wouldn’t you know it: There they are, dressed up in decent approximations of their old costumes, and looking just like the Winifred, Mary, and Sarah of our childhood memories.
Hocus Pocus has been a fairly reliable nostalgic touchstone for Disney over the years—it’s not for nothing that an attempt to coax people back into the theaters during Halloween 2020 was largely predicated on the original movie’s charms. The revival has been in the works for a while now, but didn’t really take off until Disney managed to wrangle Parker, Najimy, and especially Midler back into the fold.
Hocus Pocus 2 is being aimed at Fall 2022—which, not coincidentally, is when a lot of this new Disney+ content is expected to hit; the company is clearly aiming at Q4 2022 as a chance to bolster flagging subscription numbers by hitting fans from every angle, from Marvel shows, to Star Wars, to the return of their favorite vacuum cleaner-riding witches.