A witch consultant cursed the movie set when the producers refused to increase her fee.
Back when Practical Magic released, nobody would've guessed that Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock's 1998 film would end up being considered a cult classic. We are guessing not even director Griffin Dunne. The two actresses played sisters who are witches, but their powers come at a price as the men they fall in love with always meet their untimely demise. Made on a budget of $75 million, the movie earned $68 million after it hit theaters.
It failed to impress the critics since they didn't find the strange combination of comedy, horror, and romance impressive. Over the years, Practical Magic has achieved cult status among witchy fans and sits right along with movies like Hocus Pocus and The Craft. But recently, we came across really interesting information that makes this beloved 1998 movie even more unique.
Dunne, in an interview with Vulture, revealed that Practical Magic was cursed by a real witch, and he believes this is exactly why the movie flopped at the box office. Even though he is a skeptic of anything related to the occult of the magic, his beliefs were questioned after he hired a witch consultant onto the production. Things were going smoothly and the consultant helped Dunne in developing a film that was more about the legacy of the witches, rather than just spellbooks and potions.
But something made the witch consultant feel that she was not getting paid enough and she quickly changed, but not for the better. Dunne said, "She says, 'I’m going to put a curse on you. I’m putting a curse on this movie, and I’m putting a curse on Griffin.' So the producer comes back to my rehearsal, white as a ghost, and she tells me, 'That call did not go well. She’s really really angry.' I had no idea quite what happened, so I get back to my office on the Warner Bros. lot and I listen to my voicemail."
He continued, "How dare you sic that shrew on me? You think you can buy me off, well let me tell you something? There is a land of curses!" The director also mentioned that while the consultant was talking over the phone, she slipped into tongues and growled at times.
Dunne added, "Nonetheless when we’d screen it, people were jumping out of their seats and laughing. Women and girls, in particular, were all so moved by it, and it did very well at the box office. But despite that, it had a weird reputation for being a failure. So I don’t give the curse any power, but at the same time, I did come to think that somehow a little stink was put on the movie."
It also makes me think that if the movie indeed was cursed by an actual witch, her spell was only meant to withstand for a certain amount of time? Nobody knows what the actual reason was for the movie's late success, but I can't deny that this bit of information only made one of my favorite movies, a little bit more magical.