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Mary Poppins and Spider-Man break records in Canada and U.S.

Mary Poppins and Spider-Man combined forces to destroy box-office records in Canada and New York last week, as audiences flocked to live performances over the holidays.

On tour at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre, Mary Poppins set a new Canadian theatrical record for weekly gross, pulling in $2,088,824.50 over a nine-performance week that ended on Jan. 1.

A Disney and Cameron Mackintosh co-production presented by Mirvish Productions, Mary Poppins marks the second Toronto box-office record for British director Richard Eyre and Mirvish of late. In the fall, Eyre's production of Private Lives, also part of the Mirvish 2011-2012 season, became the highest-grossing non-musical play in the history of the Royal Alexandra Theatre.

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Meanwhile, down in Gotham, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the superhero musical once considered troubled, pulled in $2,941,794 (US) last week – making more money over seven days than any Broadway show ever had before.

In second place, shattering its own previous record, Wicked, Stephen Schwartz's long-running musical about the witches of Oz, pulled in $2,712,535 (US) over nine shows.

Wicked was the previous weekly box-office champ in Canada as well, having pulled in $2,030,245 at Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre in June over 8 performances. (All records do not take inflation into account.)

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Theatre critic

J. Kelly Nestruck is The Globe's theatre critic. More

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