The "King" of the Big Screen?
by Alisa Perren — University of Texas at Austin
January 20, 2009 – 02:23
I suspect I wasn’t the only one surprised to see that Paul Blart, Mall Cop earned more than $30 million in its opening weekend. To put this in perspective, this is more than twice the box office returns earned by “King of the Box Office” Will Smith for Seven Pounds or by mega-star Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It is also close to what pre-sold Marley and Me earned in its first week out as well.
How can this be explained? Is there a massive Kevin James fan base out there? Has this untapped audience been waiting quietly in the wings, biding its time until James was given the appropriate cinematic showcase in which to display his comedic skills? Does this suggest the potentially powerful (and relatively unexploited) box office prowess of CBS sitcom stars?
Perhaps big screen features should be fast-tracked for fellow sitcom actors Julia Louis-Dreyfus (The New Adventures of Old Christine) and Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory) — not to mention the highest-paid sitcom star on TV at present, Charlie Sheen…