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For the past three years, Disney has released a Star Wars movie in December, and made tons of money at the box office in the process. But 2018 is unique, as Lucasfilm is skipping a year before Episode IX arrives next December. This makes room for James Wan's Aquaman to strike while the iron is hot. There's just one problem: Mary Poppins Returns.
For sure, I think I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried. But generally around the holidays, there's a lot to go around --- which was pointed out to us when Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle opened on top of each other. You see how well Jumanji played.
Well, thats a logical way of looking at it. Because while James Wan seems appropriately nervous about going up against a movie with such iconography and nostalgia as Mary Poppins Returns, he seems confident that cinephiles will be making their way to the movies more than once over the Holiday season.
Considering the excitement that has been building for both Aquaman and Mary Poppins Returns, James Wan's comments to EW make a great deal of sense. The two movies are drastically different in genre and tone, making plenty of room for each to bring in audiences. And the hardcore movie fans out there like yours truly will happily shell out the cash to see both projects on the big screen.
In his conversation with EW, James Wan specifically name drops Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle as a success story from an otherwise bloated December. Going up against a Star Wars movie seems like a fool's errand, considering the franchise's habit of breaking box office records and bringing generations of moviegoers to theaters.
But the Jumanji sequel was a critical and box office darling, and brought Sony the success it so sorely needed at the end of the calendar year. Another Jumanji is also being planned, with the talented cast likely returning to reprise their roles as video game avatars. If Aquaman and Mary Poppins Returns can share the box office draw as much as that movie and The Last Jedi, then perhaps both blockbusters will be a success this year.
Aquaman will arrive in theaters on December 21st, while Mary Poppins Returns will arrive just days before on December 19th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.