Things were looking more like Bleeker Street than Cherry Tree Lane as “Mary Poppins Returns” lost to “Aquaman” over its opening weekend. Now as we enter the second weekend, the musical fantasy is humming a different tune. It earned four-straight days of $10 million+ grosses (including a +58% versus last Friday) to bring its pre-weekend domestic total to $81.5M.
Returns is now expected to earn more on its second weekend than its first. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $33M, a +39% jump over last weekend. That would be last Christmas’ surprise movie “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” If Returns continues to perform like that it could be looking at $250 million, which for a movie musical is downright supercalifragalistic. At that point it would be second only to Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast.”
It’s estimated that the sequel cost around $130M to make. Marketing and promotional costs are a bit harder to tell, but usually a figure of 75% of production cost is a good estimate. So “Mary Poppins Returns” could turn out to make a profit for Disney. It won’t be enough to built a second EPCOT, but it’s better than the dismal start the movie had. It’s still going to lose to “Aquaman,” but it will hold its own, which is saying a lot.