Sunday, April 14, 2024

Box Office: “Mary Poppins Returns” with Disappointing Opening Night– $4.7 Million– and a Nasty New York Times Review


Mary Poppins has returned– and it’s not the magic we all imagined.

“Mary Poppins Returns” scored only $4.7 million on its opening day yesterday. Projections for the five day weekend are $35 million, which is very low. Twice that should have been the result.

Disney has a problem on its hands because it planned sequels and has invested a lot in retooling its most prized film. Rob Marshall did an excellent job, and Emily Blunt is wonderful, frankly. The animation is terrific. Surprise appearances from Meryl Streep, Dick van Dyke, and Angela Lansbury just add to the thrill of it all. Lin Manuel Miranda is quite terrific, too.

But Rotten Tomatoes has “Mary Poppins Returns” at a low 78. The New York Times’s Manohla Dargis didn’t help, eviscerating the new movie in her review. The headline was a killer–


Remember the movie “Saving Mr. Banks”? Somehow I think P.L. Travers, who wrote “Mary Poppins,” has jinxed this movie. Or maybe it’s just bad karma. Disney held a “private” opening of the movie in New York this week, didn’t invite press, and staged the whole thing at a not very glamorous theater. It was a sign of bad things to come.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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