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Box Office: ‘Paranormal Activity’ Edges Vin Diesel’s ‘Last Witch Hunter’ on Thursday

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

“Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” spooked its box office competition on Thursday night, scaring up $600,000 and edging out Vin Diesel’s “The Last Witch Hunter.”

“The Last Witch Hunter” launched with $525,000 in Thursday night preview screenings for Lionsgate, while “Steve Jobs” took a bite into $294,000 from its expanded release at 1,748 theaters.

The three titles are expected to battle for the top spot at the U.S. box office this weekend. Sony’s second weekend of “Goosebumps” will also be in the mix following its $23.6 million opening.

Open Road’s Bill Murray comedy “Rock the Kasbah” took in $75,000 from Thursday previews, while Universal’s “Jem and the Holograms” grossed a modest $34,000 in 944 theaters, with shows beginning at 7 p.m.

“Ghost Dimension” is launching in 1,656 theaters, compared to 2,867 locations for 2014’s “Paranormal Activity: the Marked Ones.” Paramount expects the pic to earn $10 million to $12 million in its opening weekend. Many cinema owners are refusing to play the film because of an innovative deal between Paramount, AMC and Canada’s Cineplex to make it available in homes earlier than usual.

“Witch Hunter” has been forecast to gross between $15 million and $19 million this weekend, propelled by strong interest from males. The supernatural actioner stars Diesel as an immortal witch hunter who must stop a plague from destroying New York City.

“Steve Jobs” is expanding from 60 to 2,493 North American theaters, and is expected to take in about the same. The Michael Fassbender vehicle has grossed a solid $2.6 million in its first 13 days of release.

“Rock the Kasbah,” starring Murray as a concert promoter who discovers a Pashtun musical sensation, debuts on 2,012 screens and its expected to pull in $6 million.

“Jem and the Holograms,” the big screen version of the 1980s animated TV series about a rock group, is expected to take in about $7 million at 2,413 theaters. “Jem” has been produced by low-budget specialist Blumhouse for $5 million.