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$33.8 Million for Fat Guy Comedy? A Box Office Surprise

"Paul Blart, Mall Cop" far exceeds expectations with an impressive $33.8 million weekend box office.

Sony's "Paul Blart: Mall Cop," starring Kevin James as a tubby mall security guard who tries to thwart a bank robbery, managed to steal the top spot at this weekend's box office, scoring an impressive $33.8 million that far exceeded industry expectations.


In its second frame, Clint Eastwood's far more serious drama "Gran Torino" held its own against the "Blart" onslaught, dropping a relatively small 25 per cent to second place, with a gross of $22.2 million for a cume of $73.2 million.  Horror remake "My Bloody Valentine 3-D" slashed its way to third place with $21.9 million.


Fox Searchlight's "Notorious," about the slain rapper Notorious B.I.G., delivered the biggest opening ever for the specialty division, grossing $21.5 million.  Rounding out the top five, Paramount's canine comedy "Hotel for Dogs" dug up $17.7 million.


Also of note, "Slumdog Millionaire" benefited from its rewarding turn at the Golden Globes, entering the top 10 with $5.9 million in limited release at 582 theaters, for a total of $42.7 million over 10 weeks of release.

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.