The mouse taketh, the mouse giveth.
Following a massive release schedule shift that saw the Walt Disney Company moving most of its tentpole slate months into the future, including all MCU movies save for “Deadpool 3” into 2025, they announced Thursday they’re at least debuting “The First Omen” on April 5, 2024.
“The First Omen” centers on a young American woman who is sent to Rome to begin a life of service to the Church, where she encounters a darkness that causes her to question her own faith and uncovers a terrifying conspiracy that hopes to bring about the birth of evil incarnate. The feature stars Nell Tiger Free (“Servant”), Tawfeek Barhom (“Mary Magdalene”), Sonia Braga (“Kiss of the Spider Woman”), Ralph Ineson (“The Northman”) and Bill Nighy (“Living”).
Arkasha Stevenson will direct a screenplay she cowrote with Tim Smith and Keith Thomas (“Firestarter”) based on characters created by David Seltzer (“The Omen”), with a story by Ben Jacoby (“Bleed”). The producers are David S. Goyer (“Hellraiser”) and Keith Levine (“The Night House”) and the executive producers are Tim Smith, Whitney Brown (“Rosaline”) and Gracie Wheelan.
Richard Donner’s modern classic “The Omen” saw a young anti-Christ use his evil powers to kill off his adopted family in order to better chart his rise to power. It earned $61 million domestic in 1976 and won an Oscar for Jerry Goldsmith’s iconic score. It also spawned three sequels and a remake.
Fox cleverly released the remake, sometimes called “The Omen 666,” on June 6, 2006 — a Tuesday. It earned a then-record $12.5 million on that Tuesday opening day. It eventually grossed $119 million worldwide on a $25 million budget.
This means Disney is actually releasing at least one movie in theaters between “All of Us Strangers” on Dec. 22 and “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” over Memorial Day weekend. The pre-summer likes of “Elio” and “Snow White” were sent to 2025, while “Deadpool 3” got sent to July.
Ironically, as Disney’s biggest brands (the live-action remakes, the animated films and the MCU movies) have struggled over the last few years, they have found relative success in horror breakouts like “Barbarian” and “The Boogeyman.” The latter, a PG-13 Stephen King adaptation initially intended for Hulu, earned $67 million worldwide this past summer.
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