Kevin James, of all people, propelled the box office to record high numbers this weekend with his so-bland-it-hurts comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop. The unfunny movie with a funny name rocketed to the top of the weekend chart with $33.8 million, the second-highest opening of the year so far (after Bride Wars, which dropped from No. 2 to No. 6 in its second week with $11.75 million). Combined with three other mediocre but popular new releases and leftovers from last week’s high-grossing frame, the box office powered to both its biggest January weekend ever and its biggest Martin Luther King Jr. weekend ever.

Last weekend’s belated No. 1, Gran Torino, dropped only 24.6 percent down to No. 2 with $22.24 million. A trio of new releases take up the 3-5 spots: My Bloody Valentine 3-D took the bronze with $21.9 million, aided no doubt by ticket prices that were 2-3 dollars higher than its competitors; Biggie biopic Notorious took No. 4 with $21.5 million, with the highest per-screen numbers in the top 10, despite opening in a relatively puny number of theaters; Hotel For Dogs, conversely, opened in the most theaters of any film in the top 10, but took a modest $5,413 per screen, landing it at No. 5 with $17.7 million.

The Unborn slid down 50.3 percent to No. 7 with a still-robust $9.85 million. Defiance opened in wide release after a two-week limited run and took the No. 8 spot with $9.21 million. Marley And Me hung on it its fourth frame with $6.34 million at No. 9, and Slumdog Millionaire returned to the top 10 after dropping down to No. 11 last week. Propelled no doubt by its multiple Golden Globe wins, the film made a 56 percent jump despite appearing on fewer screens than last week, landing at No. 10 with $5.9 million.

More detailed numbers can be found at boxofficemojo.com.

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