Mary Poppins Returns tops the UK box office for Christmas 2018

Emily Blunt film makes a practically perfect start pulling in more than £8m receipts on its first weekend in the UK and Ireland

Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) in Disney's original musical MARY POPPINS RETURNS (Disney, HF)

Mary Poppins Returns has topped the UK and Ireland box office this Christmas.

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Disney’s live action musical sequel starring Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer took £8.175m in the UK and Ireland box office in its first weekend, making it the British Isles’ highest earning movie for the holiday period.

The film also did well across the world.

It launched in North America with £17.55 million in box office receipts over the weekend and £24.5 million during its first five days of release. Overall it has earned £40.5 million around the world so far.

The film, which takes up the action in the lives of the Banks family in the early 1930s, around twenty years after the action of the original film, has had largely positive reviews.

Welcoming the news, Lee Jury, Head of Walt Disney Studios UK said: “Well, she’s truly back! – A simply huge audience arrived to see Mary Poppins safely return to cinemas this weekend as she flew straight to the top of the box office charts as the number one Christmas movie in the UK and Ireland.

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“This film is an incredible cinematic achievement and we doff our hats to the extraordinary talent, director Rob Marshall and his phenomenal cast and film-making team. They have created such a joyous cinematic experience that has seen audiences of all ages ‘tripping the light fantastic’ and the film is already another timeless chapter in Disney’s movie history. We could not be more proud.”