Demonic day for ‘Omen’

Fox horror pic opens with $12.6 mil

Fox’s lucky day turned out to be 6/6/06, as “The Omen” bowed to a boffo $12.6 million — the biggest Tuesday gross ever.

Take just barely edged out that of “Meet the Fockers,” which made $4,000 less on its first Tuesday in December 2004.

Opening the horror remake on a Tuesday, traditionally one of the slowest moviegoing days of the week, was a risk for Fox. But its marketing campaign, focused on the satanic implications of the date, paid off in a big way.

No. 2 pic “The Break-Up” lagged far behind with $4 million.

The $12.6 million would be big even for an opening Friday and is particularly impressive on a weekday, though it helped that kids are starting to get out of school.

It remains to be seen, however, whether heavy promotion for the opening day will lead to a quick dropoff in attendance.

While Wednesday and Thursday will likely fall back to normal weekday grosses, “The Omen,” which is at 2,660 playdates, could very well best “The Break-Up” for the No. 2 spot this weekend behind “Cars.”

“People finding out it was a giant success helps to propel the weekend,” Fox distrib prexy Bruce Snyder said. “I believe the grosses will look like a hammock that slumps Wednesday and Thursday and comes back by the weekend.”

Studio had some promotional fun by rounding the gross to $12,633,666. MGM often played a similar trick with the last three digits of James Bond pics’ grosses. For instance, the first weekend of “The World Is Not Enough” just happened to gross $35,519,007.

Fox Intl. didn’t give out Tuesday foreign numbers for “The Omen,” which went day-and-date on more than 4,500 playdates in international markets as the distrib took advantage of the 666 gimmick. Studio is trying to generate significant biz in the final three days before Friday’s launch of soccer’s World Cup, expected to pose a major distraction in most foreign territories.

Reports showed the remake generated mostly positive foreign results on its first day. Top number came from the U.K. with $1.2 million, far above $500,000 for “The Da Vinci Code” and $485,000 for “X-Men: The Last Stand.”

“The Omen” dominated in Mexico as well with $660,000 on Tuesday, well above the $210,000 for “Poseidon,” $175,000 for “X-Men” and $120,000 for “Code.” It also won in Spain with $290,000, beating “Code” with $180,000 and “X-Men” with $100,000, and in Brazil with $170,000, while “Code” and “X-Men 3” both grossed $150,000.

But “The Omen” finished well behind the holdover pics in Germany with $290,000, as “Code” grossed $740,000 and “X-Men” $370,000. It also lagged slightly in Australia, where “Code” led with $285,000, followed by “X-Men” with $272,000 and “The Omen” with $270,000.

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