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March 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Suggesting that big-budget 3D productions are not invincible at the box office, the relatively low-budget Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, starring Emma Thompson and Maggie Gyllenhaal took over the top spot at the British box office over the weekend with $3.92 million, according to Screen International. The result pushed Alice in Wonderland down to second place with $3.78 million in its fourth week to bring its U.K. total to $52.88 million. Nanny opened to mixed reviews. “Children will love it, adults will find it tolerable,” Observer critic Phillip French wrote. Alistaire Harkness in The Scotsman said that while the movie provides “more old-fashioned, family-centric fun,” its “relentless golly-gosh chipperness and clunky plot grate by the end.” Anthony Quinn in The Independent bestowed just two stars on the movie, although he conceded that “the farmyard slapstick and Poppins-style magic should keep the minors entertained.” Likewise, Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian awards the movie two stars, too, while admitting that the “movie punches out broad entertainment for little kids effectively.” Several critics wrote that they particularly enjoyed scenes of a group of piglets engaged in synchronized swimming. Kate Muir in the London Times singled out the piglets for applause, awarded the film four stars, and concluded, “Children will laugh at the derring-do of their peers, while adults … may weep discreetly.”