Kevin James is top "Cop" with box office hit

Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:46pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Kevin James, the star of the sitcom "The King of Queens," is now the king of the North American box office, thanks to a surprisingly strong No. 1 opening for his feature headlining debut.

His family comedy "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" sold an estimated $33.8 million worth of tickets during the three days beginning January 16, distributor Columbia Pictures said on Sunday, helping boost overall ticket sales for a fourth consecutive weekend.

James plays a shopping-mall security guard who takes on a gang of high-tech thieves. He also co-wrote and co-produced the $26 million movie, which was roundly trashed by critics.

Last weekend's champ, Clint Eastwood's suburban drama "Gran Torino" slipped to No. 2 with $22.2 million, taking its total to $73.2 million. Distributor Warner Bros. Pictures expects the film to end up in the $130 million range.

Three new releases rounded out the top five, all with strong numbers: the horror film "My Bloody Valentine: 3D" at No. 3 with $21.9 million; "Notorious," a biopic about slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. at No. 4 with $21.5 million, and the kids comedy "Hotel for Dogs" at No. 5 with $17.7 million.

The top-10 boasted one other new entry, as well as a re-entry. After two weeks in limited release, James Bond star Daniel Craig's Nazi-resistance movie "Defiance" landed at No. 8 with a solid $9.2 million.

Awards favorite "Slumdog Millionaire" rebounded one place to No. 10 with $6.3 million, taking its total to $42.7 million. The Mumbai-set drama won four prizes at the Golden Globes last Sunday, and is expected to be a key contender when Oscar nominations are unveiled on Thursday.

HOLIDAY BOOST   Continued...

<p>Actor Kevin James gestures from the pace car at the start of the Pepsi 400 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida July 7, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Wallheiser</p>