Authored by Jon Mercer in Movies and Television
Published on 01-21-2009
“Paul Blart: Mall Cop” had no trouble taking the top spot at the box office this weekend with $33.8 million in ticket sales in it’s first three day’s of release. Kevin James plays the fumbling Paul Blart, a half-witted security guard who is in charge of security at a local mall. The PG-13 film surpassed all expectations as it soared into the number one spot this weekend. The film is now expected to reach over $40 million over the extended Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.
Rory Bruer, President of worldwide distribution for Sony, who released the movie, said “We were hopeful we could do in the range of $25 million in four days and that would have been terrific results for us. But now it looks like we’re going to do $40 million for four days and that is just, like, a ‘wow’ number.” Bruer also said that the ticket sales and the number one spot is a testament to just how much audiences love Kevin James and how hard he has worked to promote this film.
This is James’ first big film with a starring role; he has played the sidekick opposite of Will Smith in “Hitch,” and opposite Adam Sandler in “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry.” In “Mall Cop,” Kevin James shows he has terrific potential as a leading man and apparently audiences agree because the numbers don’t lie. James appears to have that elusive “everyman” quality that people can relate to. It has been pointed out that, in these tough economic times, its no easy task to sell a movie that’s based entirely around a shopping mall. However, Kevin James pulls it off, and does a great job in the lead role.
“Mall Cop” knocked Clint Eastwood’s “Gram Torino” into a close second place. The film, which stars and was directed by film legend Eastwood, is about a bigot who becomes a neighborhood hero. The Warner Brothers release made $22 million this weekend and has cumulative earnings of $73.2 million to date. In the number three spot this weekend was another new release. “My Bloody Valentine 3-D” was released by Lionsgate Entertainment this weekend and has earned about $21.9 million in its first three days.
Coming in at number four in the box office sales this weekend was the Fox-Searchlight film about deceased rapper Notorious B.I.G. The film is called simply “Notorious.” The film was the biggest opening for Fox-Searchlight ever, grossing $21.5 million for the weekend. Rounding out the top five movies this weekend is the Paramount family comedy “Hotel for Dogs” which took in $17.7 million.