Jake Gyllenhaal’s “Nightcrawler” came to life with $515,000 at 2,766 locations in pre-Halloween Thursday night screenings in the U.S.

Distributors began showings at 7 p.m. With trick-or-treating and celebrations taking place Friday, the weekend’s ticket sales are expected to be mild.

Forecasters have estimated Open’s Road’s  “Nightcrawler” and Universal’s second weekend of “Ouija” will battle for the top spot, with the former expected to wind up in the $10 million to $11 million range.

A week ago, “Ouija” scared up a respectable $911,000 in Thursday night screenings at 2,061 locations in the U.S. on its way to a $19.9 million opening weekend.

Gyllenhaal portrays a crime journalist in Los Angeles seeking lurid scoops in  “Nightcrawler,” which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and has generated strong reviews.

“Ouija,” the micro-budget horror film starring Daren Kagasoff and Olivia Cooke, should experience a decline of around 50% and wind up generating around $9 million to $10 million.

Clarius Entertainment is releasing the only other new wide release with the thriller “Before I Go to Sleep,” starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth, in 1,900 locations. Forecasters expect “Before I Go to Sleep” to gross about $5 million this weekend.

Lionsgate is also re-releasing 2004’s “Saw” at 2,063 locations with a $3 million weekend expected.