Clapboard : Mall Cop Patrols Atop Box Office

LOS ANGELES ~ Comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop kept its top position for the second consecutive weekend at the North American box office, final figures showed.

The film, starring Kevin James as a mall security guard who fights off a criminal gang, earned US$21.6 million to keep its number one position, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Vampire horror flick Underworld: Rise of the Lycans opened in second place with $20.8 million.

In third place was Clint Eastwood as a foul-mouthed Korean War veteran in Gran Torino, which raked in $16.2 million to bring its overall earnings to $97.8 million over seven weeks.

Eastwood’s character befriends his Asian neighbors as they are terrorized by gangs.

The family friendly Hotel for Dogs, where children run a fanciful facility for stray dogs, took in $12.9 million for fourth place.

Mumbai-set Slumdog Millionaire saw a boost from its whopping 10 Oscar nominations to jump back up to fifth place from 10th by earning $10.7 million.

Blood-soaked My Bloody Valentine 3D took in $10.1 million and debut Inkheart, in which fictional characters come to life from book pages, drew $7.6 million in ticket sales for sixth and seventh place, respectively.

Chick flick comedy Bride Wars pulled in $6.9 million for eighth place.

Oscar heavyweight The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which secured a near-record 13 nominations – including best actor for Brad Pitt – earned another $6.1 million to bring its total to more than $111 million over five weeks.

Rounding out the top 10 was bio-film Notorious about the life and 1997 murder of rap star Christopher Wallace, known as Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls, with earnings of $5.8 million.

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