Summary

  • The First Omen is now a streaming hit, ranking in the top 10 titles across all platforms.
  • Despite disappointing at the box office, the film justified its existence with genuine scares and female empowerment themes.
  • The movie’s success on streaming platforms proves that it deserved a larger audience and recognition in the horror genre.



SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

It’s been a delight to see the brilliant The First Omen find such a massive streaming audience after earning well below what it deserved to make at the box office. Set in a troubled Rome in 1971, The First Omen revolves around an American novitiate named Margaret Daino, who’s sent to work alongside nuns and priests at a mysterious orphanage. While she’s there, she uncovers a sinister conspiracy within the church to impregnate the offspring of a jackal demon with the Antichrist in order to get church attendance numbers back up.


Franchise reboots tend to be uninspired retreads of familiar storylines, and a prequel to The Omen about the birth of Damien sounds totally unnecessary on paper. But The First Omen has emerged as one of the finest horror films of the year. It’s full of genuinely effective scares and director Arkasha Stevenson does a terrific job of using the horror to explore the poignant theme of female bodily agency. After The First Omen disappointed at the box office, it’s been great to see it reach the wide audience it deserves with a second life on streaming.


The First Omen Is Now A Streaming Hit, Just 2 Months After It Debuted In Theaters

The Omen prequel has found a new audience on streaming


Since it debuted on Hulu and other online platforms, The First Omen has become a streaming hit. It was ranked as the sixth most popular title across all streaming platforms on the week of May 30 to June 5, and it’s continued to pick up new viewers since then. It’s become a new phenomenon in recent years (especially post-COVID) for a movie to disappoint at the box office, then find a huge audience when it reaches streaming. This happened with The Suicide Squad, Lightyear, The Matrix Resurrections, Turning Red, and Wonder Woman 1984.

Related

10 Scariest Moments In The First Omen

From a gut-wrenching possession scene to a public self-immolation, The First Omen is full of terrifying moments that won’t be forgotten any time soon.

Why The First Omen’s Box Office Was Disappointing

It grossed $53.8 million at the box office

Margaret screaming in The First Omen


During its theatrical run, The First Omen grossed $20,092,802 at the domestic box office and $33,753,078 internationally, for a worldwide total of $53,845,880 (via Box Office Mojo). $53.8 million isn’t a bad haul by any means, especially for an R-rated horror movie in a competitive market in a post-COVID world. But what made The First Omen a box office disappointment was its steep budget of $30 million (via Variety). Horror outlets like A24 and Blumhouse manage to consistently profit from their theatrical runs by giving most of their horror films a budget of less than $10 million.

But The First Omen is a big studio movie and an entry in a long-running franchise. It takes place in 1971, which meant sourcing a lot of period costumes and vintage cars, which don’t come cheap. Typically, to account for marketing and exhibition costs, a movie needs to gross 2.5 times its budget in order to turn a profit. By that logic, The First Omen would’ve had to make around $75 million to be considered a box office success. It’s not a total bomb, but it is a financial disappointment for the studio.


Related

Where To Watch The First Omen

The Omen horror movie franchise has returned, and there are different options for where to watch The First Omen at home on streaming or digitally.

The First Omen Deserves To Be A Bigger Success

It’s much better than the average horror reboot

Margaret screaming in the street in The First Omen

It’s great that The First Omen has found a new audience in the streaming space, because it deserved to be a much bigger success than it was. It’s a really good horror movie at a time when those are sadly few and far between. Its jump scares, creepy atmosphere, and eerie sound design were tailor-made for big-screen consumption. While it’s a shame that, despite its positive reviews, The First Omen wasn’t a bigger hit in theaters, a hefty streaming audience is a nice consolation prize. At least it’s being seen by the size of audience it deserves.


A movie about Damien’s birth might sound unnecessary, but unlike a lot of horror franchise reboots, The First Omen actually justifies its existence. The Exorcist: Believer was just a generic possession movie that fundamentally misunderstood the Chris MacNeil character; The Strangers: Chapter 1 is practically a shot-for-shot remake of the original (but much, much less effective as a home invasion thriller); and 2018’s Suspiria is a much more long-winded, much less scary remake of the Dario Argento classic. But The First Omen actually adds to The Omen movies’ mythology and stands as a terrifying horror film in its own right.

Stevenson proves herself to be an exciting new voice in horror cinema with her directorial debut. Nell Tiger Free gives an incredible lead performance in the role of Margaret, combining the everywoman charms of Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode with the all-out demonic terror of Isabelle Adjani in Possession. In a saturated market where great movies often go unnoticed, it’s a relief to see The First Omen reaching the audience it deserves.


Source: Box Office Mojo, Variety

The First Omen Movie Poster Showing a Nun in a Red Doorway and a Shadow of a Cross-1

The First Omen

The First Omen is a horror film from director Arkasha Stevenson that acts as a prequel to the 1976 film The Omen. The film follows a young woman who goes to Rome to become a nun but begins to question her faith after encountering a terrifying darkness that aims to spawn an evil incarnate.

Director
Arkasha Stevenson

Cast
Nell Tiger Free , Tawfeek Barhom , sonia braga , Ralph Ineson , Bill Nighy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *