In a scary close finish, the Jake Gyllenhaal crime thriller “Nightcrawler” and the board-game adaptation “Ouija” tied for first at the box office with $10.9 million each over the Halloween weekend.

That was according to estimates Sunday from each film’s distributor. Studios can predict a film’s Sunday performance with fairly accurate precision. When final figures are announced later today, one film will likely slightly edge out the other.

For Open Road’s low-budget Los Angeles noir “Nightcrawler,” it was a strong debut considering its creepy, unconventional protagonist. Gyllenhaal plays an ambulance-chasing man who shoots gory footage for the local news.

The independent, R-rated film was able to capitalize on a weekend the studios were frightened away from. With Halloween falling on a Friday, trick-or-treating cannibalized one of the most lucrative movie going nights of the week in the US. Grosses were down 40 percent Friday from the same weekend a year ago, according to box-office tracker Rentrak.

“Most studios know when Halloween falls on a Friday, usually they’re not good days,” said Universal’s distribution head, Nikki Rocco. “People party. It’s a holiday, and it’s not a movie going holiday.”