News

'Omen' Opens to Tuesday Record

by Brandon Gray
Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick in The Omen
June 7, 2006

Twentieth Century Fox's marketing ploy to release The Omen on Tuesday—the superstitiously-significant "6-6-06" date—paid off. The horror picture, a remake of the 1976 thriller about a child who's the Antichrist, raked in $12,633,666 at 2,660 theaters.

The Omen edged out Meet the Fockers by about $4,000 to claim the highest Tuesday gross ever, and the previous Tuesday opening high was Ali, with $10.2 million. Movies generally never open on Tuesdays unless it's around Christmas day, which Ali fell on.

"I was so concerned about it being a Tuesday, but obviously our marketing got the message across," said Bruce Snyder, Fox's president of distribution. "I would have never guessed even $6 million. This was a rather unique circumstance, I think that we created a furor, and I do not expect to see another $12 million today [Wednesday]."

When asked about the Tuesday gross ending in "666," Snyder joked, "I didn't notice that. It's a sign from above." Then, he copped to the fact that it wasn't Satan manipulating the numbers. "We were having a little fun," he said. Another Fox title, X-Men: The Last Stand, had a Tuesday gross that ended in "777," but Snyder said that was coincidental.

Because some theater grosses are unavailable the next day, studios often have a little leeway to tabulate their grosses, and sometimes they choose to tweak the numbers in the name of fun. For instance, MGM reported opening weekend grosses ending in "007" for the three James Bond pictures, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough, and they ended Die Another Day's weekend with "40" to commemorate the franchise's 40 year anniversary.

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