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M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘The Visit’ Scares Up $1 Million at Thursday Box Office

M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Visit” scared up a solid $1 million at 2,206 locations during Thursday showings, starting at 7 p.m.

Universal’s “The Visit” is expected to battle the thriller “The Perfect Guy” for the top spot this weekend, with both forecast to gross around $15 million to $17 million. Sony opted to forego Thursday night previews for “The Perfect Guy.”

“The Visit” centers on a pair of children making a week-long visit to the isolated home of their grandparents whom the’ve never met. Early reviews have been mostly positive with a 65% “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes.

“The Visit,” which has a modest $5 million price tag, bows in 3,068 theaters on Friday. It’s a return to the shock and scare territory of “The Sixth Sense,” “Signs” and “Unbreakable” that launched Shyamalan’s career. The pic carries a PG-13 rating, which should help the film bring in teenagers, who will likely make up a large chunk of the opening weekend audience.

The film stars Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie and Kathryn Hahn. Producers are Marc Bienstock, horror specialist Jason Blum, and Shyamalan through his Blinding Edge Pictures.

Shyamalan wrote, directed, produced and financed “The Visit” on his own, shooting in his native Pennsylvania and teaming with Blum after the latter saw an early cut. Blum has a long-term distribution deal of micro-budget titles with Universal, including The Purge, Ouija and Insidious franchises.

Universal’s “Ouija” took in $911,000 in Thursday-night previews last October and wound up the weekend with $19.8 million on its way to a respectable $50 million domestic total.

“The Perfect Guy” is launching at 2,200 U.S. sites through Sony’s Screen Gems label with a modest $12 million budget. It stars Sanaa Lathan and Michael Ealy as the date from hell.

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