Mary Poppins Returns successfully opened in theaters on Wednesday, grossing $4.8 million from 4,090 theaters according to The Hollywood Reporter. This whimsical musical is perfect for families and other nostalgic movie-goers during the holidays, a busy time of year for theaters. Sales for the Disney sequel exceeded The Greatest Showman, which earned $2.5 million when it opened the Wednesday before Christmas last year.
Returns features Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins, 54 years after the debut of the original Mary Poppins film in 1964. The film picks up 20 years after the setting on the original, as Mary Poppins returns to work as a nanny for the Banks family. There are new characters, such as a lamplighter named Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda) and Poppins’ cousin, Topsy (Meryl Streep).
It may be difficult to picture Blunt as Mary Poppins for those accustomed to Julie Andrews. Yet director Rob Marshall, who directed hit musicals such as Chicago (2002) and Into the Woods (2014), is accustomed to defying expectations and delivering an end-product that satisfies the target audience for his films. And judging by the rave reviews for her performance, Blunt prides herself on her original take on the role while maintaining the spirit of the classic character at the same time.
Disney Studios stands as the highest grossing Hollywood studio from 2016 to 2017, and will end up on top for 2018 as well. In order to hold onto the crown, Disney has quite a few big films ready to go for 2019. Audiences can look forward to Captain Marvel, Frozen 2, live-action remakes of Lion King, Aladdin, and Dumbo, Avengers: Endgame, Toy Story 4, and Star Wars: Episode IX. Disney is also releasing a streaming service that attempts to rival Netflix, and with the purchase of 21st Century Fox, Disney now has a plethora of additional assets including Avatar and X-Men.