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'Paul Blart: Mall Cop' Delivers Strong Weekend At Box Office

Paul Blart may not be the best mall cop, but he can certainly open a movie.

Kevin James' 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop', in which he stars as a hapless and fumbling security guard, took in an impressive $33.8 million to become the weekend's top selling movie at the box office to not only meet but far surpass expectations for the PG comedy.

Sony was expecting the family movie to open somewhere in the range of $25 million for four days (including Martin Luther King, Jr. Day). Instead, the movie will deliver $40 million for the studio over the holiday weekend which Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution for Sony, calls a 'wow' number.

What does it mean for the funny man? After proving his value as a sidekick to Adam Sandler in 'I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry' and Will Smith in 'Hitch', James shows he can also be a leading man. "I got tired of carrying those guys," Kevin joked on the 'Tonight Show' last week about why he decided to finally do a movie on his own. It didn't hurt that the comedian was all over the talk-show circuit last week promoting the movie, including a very funny David Letterman interview where he joked about being overweight.

Last week's No. 1 movie, Clint Eastwood's 'Gran Torino', dropped to second earning 22.2 million. While the week's other new releases, 'My Bloody Valentine 3-D ' and 'Hotel for Dogs' took $21.9 million and $17.7 million, respectively.

Golden Globe winner 'Slumdog Millionaire' crept into the No. 10 spot with its limited release. The movie is expected to expand to more than 1,200 theaters next weekend following Thursday's Academy Award nominations.

Here's the complete rundown for the weekend box office:

1. Paul Blart: Mall Cop, $33.8 million.
2. Gran Torino, $22.2 million.
3. My Bloody Valentine 3-D, $21.9 million.
4. Notorious, $21.5 million.
5. Hotel for Dogs, $17.7 million.
6. Bride Wars, $11.75 million.
7. The Unborn, $9.8 million.
8. Defiance, $9.2 million.
9. Marley & Me, $6.3 million.
10. Slumdog Millionaire, $5.9 million.

January 19, 2009 |

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