The much-anticipated return by the Crawley family on the big screen is sure to be a highlight for any Downton Abbey fan.
The movie version of the classic British TV series has been a runaway hit at the US box office, expected to rake in $31m this weekend. This puts it way ahead of the latest vehicles for Hollywood stars Sylvester Stallone and Brad Pitt - Rambo: Last Blood is expected to bring $18–19m and Pitt's Ad Astra a similar figure.
But will it convert any Downton doubters or complete newbies?
Managing editor and film critic at City Press, Gayle Edmunds says the film really is one for the fans.
If you haven't seen it up until the end of the TV series, you are going to be lost... It's an ode for the fans and not for anyone who's never seen Downton Abby and wants a cheat sheet.— Gayle Edmunds, Managing editor and film critic - City Press
Edmunds says the film is beautifully made, the costumes exquisite, and Maggie Smith as the dowager countess, as hilariously sharp-tongued as ever.
British acting stalwart Imelda Staunton also joins the cast as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Mary, wife of King George V. It's the royals' visit to Downton that drives the plot.
Everyone is in uproar, upstairs and downstairs, as the King and Queen come to visit.— Gayle Edmunds, Managing editor and film critic - City Press
They send their own valets and their own staff, which causes Mrs Patmore in the kitchen a great deal of anxiety. She wants to cook for the King and all sorts of fun and games.— Gayle Edmunds, Managing editor and film critic - City Press
For more on Downton Abbey, the movie, take a listen:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Big-screen adaptation of Downton Abbey beats Stallone and Pitt at US box office