What Do ‘The Thing,’ ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘The Omen’ Have In Common?

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They all were released on this day in history.

June 25, 1976 saw the release of Richard Donner’s incredible The Omen, a horror thriller that begins when mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the anti-christ? The devil’s own son? Harvey Stephens played Damien, with Gregory Peck and Lee Remick. Explains Wiki, The Omen was released following a successful $2.8 million marketing campaign inspired by the one from Jaws one year prior, with two weeks of sneak previews, a novelization by screenwriter David Seltzer, and the logo with “666″ inside the film’s title as the centerpiece of the advertisement. The film was a massive commercial success in the United States. It grossed $4,273,886 in its opening weekend and $60,922,980 domestically on a tight budget of $2.8 million. The film was the fifth highest grossing movie of 1976.

Flash forward to 1982 where both Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and John Carpenter’s The Thing hit theaters.

The Thing, one of the earliest of remakes, was actually a flop when it came out. It opened #8 and remained in the top 10 at the box office for three weeks, says Wiki. The movie was released in the United States on June 25, 1982 in 840 theaters and was issued an “R” rating by the Motion Picture Association of America (limiting attendees to 17 and older without a guardian). The film cost $15,000,000 to produce, and debuted at #8 at the box office, with an opening weekend gross of $3.1 million. It went on to make $19,629,760 domestically. Carpenter and other writers have speculated that the film’s poor performance was due to the release of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial two weeks earlier, with its more optimistic scenario of alien visitation (which received a “PG” rating from the MPAA). In the film starring Kurt Russell, scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills.

When was the first time you saw these three films and what was your initial reaction? Did any of our readers actually see The Thing in theaters? That would be insanely cool…

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  • Chad Saxelid

    I saw The Thing on its opening weekend. I was 13, a HUGE John Carpenter fan (still) am, and there were only three other people in the theater. My dad, my younger brother, and somebody sitting a few rows away. I had read Alan Dean Foster’s novelization of the film before seeing it, so I knew the basics. The monster, the music, and the atmosphere of dread just blew me away. Loved it then, love it now.

  • J Jett

    i was too young to see these films in the theater but DAMN! 1976 was an awesome year for movies with just these 3 films alone (speaking as a horror fan)!

  • Jesse Diaz

    I’m fortunate and proud to say I saw THE THING at the theater back in 1982. I was eleven years old and the funny thing is my parents took me, my brother, and my cousins to see E.T.. I had already seen E.T., so I convinced my mom to let me and my brother see THE THING. Best change of plans I ever made

    • Koreginald

      Awesome. :)

  • Koreginald

    The Thing is, hands down, one of the most awesome horror sci-fi films ever made. In fact, aside from Alien, Aliens, and a few others, the entire genre has been under-developed. I’ve watched The Thing probably 20 times at this point; here is to 20 more.

    • ThunderDragoon

      It really is. I love it so much.

  • Melissa

    Oh, my dad used to have us watch horror movies all the time, I owe my love for them to him. I still remember the first movie I ever saw was the Thing. It was at the Drive-In. I was so scared! I had to use the bathroom and my dad told me to be careful, as my mom was going to take me, that people in the other cars and in the concession stand may not be them. Then I was too terrified to get out of the car. My mom was MAD! He thought it was hilarious. I am glad he did because I think it’s a great story now too! I remember seeing it there clearly! I was only 4 but one of my best movie experiences!