Paul Blart: Mall Cop

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Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Paul blart mall cop film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Steve Carr
Produced by Adam Sandler
Kevin James
Barry Bernardi
Written by Kevin James
Nick Bakay
Starring Kevin James
Music by Waddy Wachtel
Cinematography Russ T. Alsobrook
Edited by Jeff Freeman
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • January 16, 2009 (2009-01-16)
Running time
91 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $26 million[2]
Box office $183 million[3]

Paul Blart: Mall Cop is a 2009 American action comedy film directed by Steve Carr and co-written by Kevin James, who stars as the title character, Paul Blart. Filming began in February 2008 with most of the shooting taking place at the Burlington Mall in Burlington, Massachusetts. The film opened in the United States on January 16, 2009, distributed by Columbia Pictures. Despite mixed reviews, the film went on to become a box office success. Created on a relatively small budget of $26 million, it grossed $31.8 million in its opening weekend and finished with a gross of more than $146 million in North America. Its worldwide total exceeded $183 million. A sequel, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, was released on April 17, 2015.


Paul Blart is a resident in West Orange, New Jersey with his teenage daughter, Maya, and elderly mother, Margaret. Aspiring to join the New Jersey State Police, he trains at the police academy, but his hypoglycemic medical condition causes him to collapse, therefore failing the exam. To shape things up for his career, Blart works as a security guard at the West Orange Pavillion Mall.

Blart patrols the mall on a Segway to assure things are safe and clean. He goes to the surveillance room and trains Veck Simms, who is new but uninterested on the job. Meanwhile, Blart eventually becomes acquainted with Amy Anderson, the vendor of a new kiosk. He meets her one evening at a restaurant with other mall employees. Things initially go well, but Blart is sidetracked when he decides to participate in a nacho-eating contest with his friend Leon. The hot sauce is more than Blart can handle, and he begins chugging down several alcoholic beverages causing him to become excessively drunk and incoherent. He crashes the party and makes a wild exit by falling through a window.

Two days later, on the night of Black Friday, an organized gang of thugs disguised as Santa's Village employees begin what appears to be a bank heist inside the mall. They take Amy and other customers in the bank hostage. Simms is revealed as the gang's leader – his mall security job was a ploy to gather intelligence. They are keeping the hostages as insurance for the gang's escape. The crew forces shoppers to exit the mall and strategically places motion sensors around each entrance to detect any attempt to enter or exit the building.

Blart takes a break in the arcade and plays Detroit Rock City via Rock Band. He eventually walks back out in the mall, and discovers the entire mall is evacuated and under a state of emergency. Upon realizing this, he calls the police, and slips out of the mall to speak with Commander Sergeant Howard. Blart realizes Anderson is still inside after spotting her car in the parking lot and decides to return to the mall to look for her. A state SWAT team soon arrives with Commander James Kent at the helm. Kent, a former classmate and bully from Blart's childhood, takes control of the situation and orders Blart to let them handle the situation. After spotting Anderson as one of the hostages, Blart refuses and attempts a rescue. Vastly outnumbered and physically outclassed, Blart takes a stand against Simms' crew using improvised measures to take them down one by one. He discovers credit card codes written in invisible ink on the burglars' arms and realizes that their real plans go beyond robbing the bank.

Maya, unaware of the situation, shows up at the mall on her way to bring Blart some food, but Simms' remaining henchmen seize her and add her to the hostage group. Blart manages to arrest all of Simms' accomplices and attempts to evacuate the hostages by pulling them up through an air vent. The plan fails when Leon cannot fit. Simms enters the room, capturing Blart and forcing him to give up the credit card codes he recorded on his cell phone. Simms escapes, kidnapping Anderson and Maya. As police swarm the mall to apprehend the criminals and rescue the hostages, Blart borrows a display minivan and joins Kent in pursuing Simms to the airport, where he is attempting to escape to the Cayman Islands.

After a brief scuffle, Blart overpowers Simms and puts him in handcuffs. Moments later, however, Kent pulls his gun on Blart revealing that he was in cahoots with Simms. Kent demands the phone containing the codes from Blart, who refuses and responds by smashing the phone into the ground. Before Kent can retaliate by shooting Blart, Chief Brooks of the mall security team arrives in time and shoots Kent in the arm. Kent and Simms are arrested, and Anderson and Maya are returned safely. For his bravery and assistance, Howard offers Blart a job with the New Jersey State Police. Blart honorably declines opting to remain in mall security. Blart and Anderson are eventually married in the mall, where they exchange vows on a set of black and white Segways.



Airport scenes were filmed at LG Hanscom Field, Bedford, Massachusetts on the set of Paul Blart: Mall Cop in Burlington, Massachusetts.

Production began in late February 2008 in Boston.[4] Principal photography took place at the Burlington Mall in Burlington, Massachusetts after being denied a permit from Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, New Jersey. From late February until mid-April, the mall and its stores were decorated with Christmas decorations, and there was a large prop ball-pit in the main foyer of the mall near the Sears branch, and a Santa's Village at the opposite end near the Macy's branch where the mall usually puts its own Santa's Village. Interior filming took place mostly at night. Some of the aerial stunts, such as Blart being attacked in the scenic elevator, were performed at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree, MA,[5] as the Burlington Mall's construction did not allow for some of these stunts. The film features a guest appearance by former WWE superstar Bob Holly. Some say inspiration for the Paul Blart character came from Tony Fish, a security guard at his local mall in Connecticut.


Critical reception[edit]

On the film-critics aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 33% based on 112 reviews, with an average rating of 4.6/10. The site's consensus reads, "Paul Blart: Mall Cop has some laughs, but its plot is flimsy and lacking in any sustained comic momentum."[6] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 39 out of 100, based on 24 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[7] Though many critics panned the film, one notable exception was Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times, who gave it three stars out of four, praising the film's "wholesome" comedy.[8]

Box office[edit]

The film ranked #1 at the domestic box office with $9,791,368 from 3,144 theaters for an opening day average of $3,105. During the film's entire three day opening weekend, the film remained at the top spot, grossing a total of $31,832,636, with a per screen average of $10,125, outgrossing its $26 million budget. It grossed $39,234,238 over the entire four day MLK weekend, for a four-day average of $12,479. The film was the second best opening of all-time for the MLK weekend, behind 2008's Cloverfield. The film stayed at number one in its second weekend, grossing another $21,623,182, dropping just 32%, and boosting the ten day income to $64,923,380. In its third weekend it dropped to second place with $13,872,751, a 36% decline from the last weekend, for an average of $4,327 from 3,206 theaters, bringing the seventeen day gross to $83,247,655. In its fourth weekend, it dropped to fifth place with $10,884,825, a drop of 22% from the last weekend, for an average of $3,435 from 3,169 theaters, and bringing the 24-day tally to $96,886,687. In its fifth weekend (President's Day weekend), it dropped to sixth place, making another $10,983,319 over the three day span, actually increasing 1%, for an average of $3,704 from 2,965 theaters, and bringing the 31-day total to $109,787,819, having broken the $100 million mark on Friday February 13. Over the four day President's Day weekend, it made $13,574,027 for an average of $4,578, and bringing the 32-day cume to $112,388,524.[9] The film closed on Monday, May 25, 2009, with a final domestic gross of $146,336,178, with the three-day opening weekend making up 21.75% of the total gross (26.81% for the four day opening weekend). The film has also so far made $36,625,591 internationally, bringing the total worldwide gross to $183,293,131, against a modest $26 million budget.[3]

Home media[edit]

Paul Blart: Mall Cop was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and UMD on May 19, 2009. The DVD sold 1,817,747 copies, making US $29,411,146 for the week of May 24, 2009, having only been out for six days, and it ranked #1 for DVD sales that week as well.[10] For the week of May 31, 2009, it again made #1 on the US DVD Charts as it sold an additional 553,681 copies and making US $9,921,964 for a total of 2,834,826 units sold with earnings of US $46,676,902 as of November 1, 2009.[10] As of November 1, 2009, when combined with box office results and total DVD sales, the film has grossed a total of US $227,126,523.


On January 29, 2009, it was reported that Sony was interested in making a sequel to the film.[11] On January 7, 2014, the studio announced they are moving forward with the sequel with shooting scheduled to begin in April 2014.[12] It was also reported that Andy Fickman was in talks to direct the sequel, and that Kevin James would be returning to star in the film and co-write the script with Nick Bakay.[13] On April 2, 2014, it was announced that the sequel would be released on April 17, 2015.[14]


  1. ^ "PAUL BLART - MALL COP (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. 2009-01-28. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  2. ^ Retrieved February 17, 2015
  3. ^ a b "Paul Blart Mall Cop (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  4. ^ A Mall Cop by any other name, accessed March 18, 2008
  5. ^ "‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop’ has local flavor". Wicked Local: Braintree. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Paul Blart Mall Cop Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  7. ^ "Paul Blart Mall Cop (2009): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  8. ^ "Paul Blart: Mall Cop". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  9. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results from January 16–18, 2009". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^ "Sony Wants A Paul Blart Sequel". 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2014-01-08. 
  12. ^ "Kevin James' "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" Sequel is Happening". Worst Previews. 2014-01-08. Retrieved 2014-01-08. 
  13. ^ "'Paul Blart: Mall Cop' Sequel Finds a Director (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 2014-01-07. Retrieved 2014-01-08. 
  14. ^ "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 Set for April 17, 2015". Retrieved 2014-04-02. 

External links[edit]