'Hocus Pocus' and Other Hits That Made Big Bucks in 2020 Re-Release

'Hocus Pocus' and Other Hits That Made Big Bucks in 2020 Re-Release

“The Empire Strikes Back,” “Jaws” and “The Goonies” all filled the void left by new blockbusters moving out of 2020


Over the weekend, the re-release of the 1993, campy, Halloween family comedy “Hocus Pocus” was the third highest grossing movie in America from theaters that are actually open. In just two weeks, it has made a cumulative $3 million, despite it also being available for digital rental and on Disney+. In that short time, it became the highest grossing re-release of 2020, and because we’re in the midst of a pandemic, it’s not surprisingly just shy of the top 50 highest grossing movies of the year. It hasn’t made “Tenet” money, and especially not what movies were making before theaters closed down, but it’s one of several classic, fan favorite movies that have put up respectable numbers for an audience craving any sort of movies on the big screen or at drive-ins. Here are 15 of the highest grossing re-releases from 2020 (all numbers from Boxofficemojo.com)

“Bohemian Rhapsody” – $240,000The Queen biopic is not even two years old but audiences are still treating it like an instant classic. 

“Back to the Future” – $247,000The Robert Zemeckis classic celebrated its 35th anniversary with a re-release and a digital reunion.

“Gremlins” – $295,000The Joe Dante classic brought in a respectable $295,000 from just 59 theaters over two weekends in July.

“Black Panther” – $367,000“Black Panther” briefly opened in theaters about a month prior to Chadwick Boseman’s death, and Disney then aired the film commercial free on ABC to a massive audience.

“Iron Man” – $430,000While everyone really wanted to see “Black Widow” this year, Marvel fans settled for the film that started it all.

“Inside Out” – $460,000Pixar’s “Onward” opened briefly in theaters before the pandemic hit, and “Soul” was officially moved to Disney+, so “Inside Out” wound up being the summer option for those looking for a Pixar classic.

“Beauty and the Beast” (2017) – $467,000While it was the live-action remake that got re-released in theaters for a weekend this summer, we’re sure the animated original would’ve done just fine too.

“Ghostbusters” – $605,000We were supposed to get a new “Ghostbusters” film this year, but since “Afterlife” was pushed to March 2021, the original will have to do.

“Jaws” – $758,300Steven Spielberg’s first blockbuster proved again why it’s the perfect summer movie.

“The Goonies” – $825,000The 2020 re-release of “The Goonies” just about matched its performance just a year earlier when it wasn’t one of the only options in town. The cast was one of many this summer that also reunited over Zoom.

“Jurassic Park” – $1.3 millionSteven Spielberg’s original “Jurassic Park” continues to find an audience even as Universal is hard at work filming the next film in the “Jurassic World” franchise.

“Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” – $2.4 millionWhen “Empire” was first re-released back in July, it was the highest grossing movie of the weekend and brought in $611,000. The re-release has even earned another $613,000 internationally.

“Hocus Pocus” – $3.0 millionThe Bette Midler comedy has now become inescapable for people who don’t quite get the ’90s nostalgia audiences have for this movie that once flopped at the box office.
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