NEW YORK — 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 Monday, 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 moviegoing nights of the week. 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 moviegoing holiday.”

Open Road’s estimate for “Nightcrawler” was technically $8,760 above Universal’s number for “Ouija.” But that tiny margin may not hold up when receipts from Sunday are counted. Other studios had “Ouija” as narrowly edging “Nightcrawler.”

Despite the Halloween night impact, “Ouija” dropped only 45 percent after topping the box office last weekend.