B.O. Analysis, Jan. 18: ‘Mall Cop’ Takes No Prisoners

Kevin James proves that he is a box-office force to be reckoned with as Paul Blart: Mall Cop greatly exceeds expectations and earns a whopping $33.8 million over the Martin Luther King weekend.

A great marketing campaign, a great release date and a star that was willing to pound the pavement on behalf of the movie led to this phenomenal weekend. The film’s Saturday gross saw a 35 percent increase over Friday and the film’s $26 million negative cost was earned back in its first three days of release. In addition, a PG rating and its theme of pure escapist fun did not hurt matters either. Can a Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 be far behind?

In second place, Gran Torino dropped a mere 25 percent in its second week of wide release as it marches toward the $100 million mark. The Clint Eastwood directed film has been the very picture of a perfect platform release.

Third place saw the horror genre make its presence known as My Bloody Valentine earned back its negative cost of $20 million with a strong $21.9 million opening weekend gross as it obviously benefitted from the 3-D big screen treatment.

In the fourth spot, Notorious proved that a musical biopic featuring the life and early death of Christopher Wallace (aka The Notorious B.I.G.) was a huge draw with the highest per-theatre average in the Top 12 and a $21.5 million debut.

All the newcomers performed strongly with Hotel for Dogs posting a solid $17.7 million debut, good enough for fifth place.

Overall another great weekend and the fourth consecutive “up” weekend vs. the year ago period. Year-to-date revenues and attendance both stand at over 20 percent above last year’s figures as the box-office momentum continues.

THREE-DAY STUDIO ESTIMATES (source by Media by Numbers)

1. NEW! Paul Blart: Mall Cop (Sony/Columbia) – $33.8M; 3144 theaters; $10,751 PTA

2. Gran Torino (Warner Bros.) – $22.2M; 2972 theaters; $7,481 PTA; -25%; $73.2M cume

3. NEW! My Bloody Valentine 3-D (Lionsgate) – $21.9M; 2534 theaters; $8,642 PTA

4. NEW! Notorious (Fox Searchlight) $21.5M; 1638 theaters; $13,126 PTA

5. NEW! Hotel for Dogs (Paramount) – $17.7M; 3271 theaters; $5,413 PTA

6. Bride Wars (Fox) – $11.7M; 3228 theaters; $3,640 PTA; -44%; $37.5M cume

7. The Unborn (Universal) – $9.8M; 2359 theaters; $4,175 PTA; -50%; $33M cume

8. Defiance (Paramount Vantage) – $9.2M; 1789 theaters; $5,146 PTA; +13402%; $9.5M cume

9. Marley & Me (Fox) – $6.3M; 2952 theaters; $2,143 PTA; -44%; $132.7M cume

10. Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight) – $5.9M; 582 theaters; $10,137 PTA; +56%; $42.7M cume

Go to Box Office section for recent weekend movie analysis.