June 7, 2006

“Omen” 6-6-06 debut is box office blessing for Fox

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Don't tell Satan, but apparently
666 is a good number -- at least it was for Twentieth Century
Fox and its new movie, "The Omen."

Fox said the remake about a boy who is a spawn of the devil
opened to a record-setting $12,633,666 at U.S. box offices --
the most money collected by movie with a Tuesday debut.

Fox deliberately opened "The Omen" on June 6, 2006 and
devised an advertising campaign around that date -- 6-6-06. The
number, 666, is referred to in Christianity as the mark of the
devil, and in "The Omen," 5 year-old Damien Thorn has that
number branded on him.

The $12.63 million checks out as the highest-grossing
Tuesday debut. Although some might question whether the last
three digits of the gross were 666 -- Fox says it was.

Boxofficemojo.com, which charts box office openings, said
that the previous champ for a Tuesday opening was boxing film,
"Ali," which collected $10.2 million on Christmas day in 2001.

In 1996, adventure flick "Independence Day" raked in $11.1
million in Tuesday night sneak previews, but its official debut
fell on the subsequent Wednesday.

Tuesday debuts are rare for a Hollywood film. Most open on
Friday and sometimes on Wednesday ahead of a long, holiday
weekend. The highest single-day opening gross was last year's
"Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" with $50 million
on a Thursday.

"The Omen" that screened in 1976 starred Gregory Peck and
Lee Remick and won an Oscar for best movie score. It spawned
two sequels of its own.

Fox is a division of media company News Corp.