Holiday Weekend Box Office ‘Cops’ Big Increase

Sony’s Kevin James comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop topped a strong Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend at the box office, earning a whopping $33.8 million.

The Friday-Sunday gross was up more than 30 percent from last year, with Monday’s holiday expected to bring more good news to the studios, according to Variety.

In second place was holdover Gran Torino from Warner Bros. and director Clint Eastwood, bringing in $22.2 million for a six-week total of $73 million. It was followed closely by My Bloody Valentine 3-D, which pulled in $21.9 million for Lionsgate in the widest 3-D release to date. Valentine played on just over a thousand screens in 3-D and about 1,500 more in 2D.

Fox Searchlight’s rap biopic Notorious opened in fourth place with $21.5 million, while Paramount/DreamWorks’ comedy Hotel for Dogs took fifth with $17.7 million.

Of the animated features in release, The Tale of Desperaux grossed $722,000 in its fifth week for a total of $48.8 million, while Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa earned $543,000 in its 11th week to top $178 million.

Waltz with Bashir, the animated documentary film from director Ari Folman, grossed $84,000 on nine screens and is likely to get a boost from the Oscar nominations, due this Thursday.