Box Office: ‘Ouija’ Materializes With $911,000 Thursday, Outpacing ‘John Wick’

Universal’s horror-thriller “Ouija” scared up a respectable $911,000 in Thursday night screenings at 2,061 locations in the U.S.

Lionsgate’s Keanu Reeves actioner “John Wick,” the weekend’s other major opener, was close behind with $870,000 at 2,000 screenings on Thursday night.

Ouija,” starring Daren Kagasoff and Olivia Cooke, has been expected to top a relatively quiet weekend at the box office at about $20 million. The film, budgeted at less than $5 million and carrying a PG-13 rating, centers on a group of teens attempting to contact a deceased friend with an Ouija board, resulting in the summoning of an evil spirit instead.

The Thursday night “Ouija” number compared favorably with Universal’s “Mama,” also rated PG-13, which took in $450,358 and went on to a $28.4 million opening weekend in January 2013.

Film District’s “Insidious,” another PG-13 horror title, generated $145,000 on its Thursday night launch in 2011 at the start of a $13.3 million weekend. And Lionsgate’s “Sinister,” which had an R rating, scared up $930,000 on the night at the start of an $18 million weekend in 2012.

“Oujia” is produced by Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes and micro-budget king Jason Blum. Its PG-13 rating is expected to help broaden its appeal to its core audience of teenagers as it launches in 2,856 theaters.

John Wick,” centered on a hitman seeking vengeance for the killing of a dog, has received strong critical support but has been pegged for a debut of about $8 million at 2,589 locations.

Sony’s second weekend of “Fury” is expected to finish second with about $13 million, followed by Fox’s fourth weekend of “Gone Girl” with about $12 million. “Fury” has hit $31 million in its first six days and “Gone Girl” has gathered an impressive $111 million in three weeks, putting the thriller on track to pass “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” as David Fincher’s highest-grossing film domestically.

“Button” took in $127 million in the U.S. in 2008.

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