With Star Wars taking the holiday season off, the pre-Christmas movie slate is positively stacked, with a murderer's row of huge films all with serious name recognition. One of those films is Mary Poppins Returns, the sequel to Disney's 1964 classic. The uplifting family film is arriving at just the right time before the holidays, and it looks like it could have a magical showing at the box office as the Rob Marshall film is expected to make $70 million in its first week.

Mary Poppins Returns gets a head start on the weekend and the competition by opening on Wednesday, December 19th. During its first week, which includes Christmas Day the following Tuesday, Mary Poppins Returns is tracking to make in the neighborhood of $70 million according to Deadline.

A $70 million first week would be in line with the success that other musicals have historically enjoyed in the Christmas frame. In 2012, Les Miserables made almost $73 million in its first week and Rob Marshall's Into the Woods made $64 million in its first week of release in 2014.

While it is forecasted to have a big opening week, moviegoing swells after Christmas Day and Mary Poppins Returns could have a long and lucrative road ahead of it beyond the holiday, moviegoers people wanting a family friendly flick they can all see and enjoy together. The early reactions to Mary Poppins Returns are also very positive, and that only bodes well for the sequels' prospects opening weekend and beyond.

Mary Poppins and Disney aren't the only ones hoping for a full stocking in advance of the Christmas holiday, both Aquaman and Bumblebee are opening in theaters the same weekend. In regards to the former, the DCEU flick opens on December 21st and is tracking at a $65 million weekend haul and around $100 million for a five-day that includes the Christmas holiday.

A five-day box office of $100 million would be less than last year's Justice League, but that film only had to face off with Wonder and Thor: Ragnarok's third weekend in theaters, so Aquaman's competition is much fiercer. Aquaman is also expected to have a strong run throughout the holiday.

Some positive signs for the $160 million film are that Warner Bros. is already adding screens to the Amazon Prime preview showings on December 15th and the reactions to Aquaman indicate that James Wan and DC got this one right and it should be seen on the biggest screen possible.

Last of the big three, but no slouch in its own right, is Paramount's Transformers spinoff Bumblebee. The Travis Knight-directed film is looking like it will open with around $40 million for its first five days through Christmas Day.

All in all it really just looks like a huge weekend and beyond at the box office for these three titles. It's really just a matter of finding time to see them all. The question is, which movie do you go see first?

If you think the weekend before Christmas is crowded you should see what 2019 looks like. Next year is full of huge movies yearlong, check them all out in our 2019 Release Schedule and if you need ideas for the movie fan in your life, take a look at our Holiday Gift Guide.

Which movie do you plan to see first?
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