James is best known for playing a portly delivery man in a US sitcom
Paul Blart: Mall Cop, the new comedy from American sitcom star Kevin James, has topped the US box office.
James, who starred in The King of Queens, co-wrote and co-produced the movie about a security guard who takes on a gang of high-tech thieves.
Despite a critical mauling, the movie took a healthy $33.8m (£23m) over the weekend.
Clint Eastwood's gritty suburban drama Gran Torino moved down to second place taking $22.2m (£15m).
In a week of new releases, horror flick My Bloody Valentine 3-D opened at number three with $21.9m (£14.9m).
Notorious, the biopic about late rapper Notorious BIG made $21.5m (£14.6m).
The movie, made with the assistance of the late rapper's family, has had its fair share of controversy.
US/CANADA BOX OFFICE
1. Paul Blart: Mall Cop $33.8m
2. Gran Torino $22.2m
3. My Bloody Valentine 3-D $21.9m
4. Notorious $21.5m
5. Hotel for Dogs $17.7m
Source: Media by Numbers
Rapper Lil' Kim has publicly criticised the way she has been portrayed in the film.
Completing the top five was the comedy Hotel for Dogs, which opened with $17.7m (£12m).
The weekend's big winner was Slumdog Millionaire, which nosed into the number 10 spot with $5.9m (£4m).
The British movie about a teenager from the slums of Mumbai who bids to become a game show champion won Golden Globes for best picture, director, screenplay and original score.
It opened to a limited release in just 582 cinemas and will expand to more than 1,200 following the Academy Award nominations on 22 January.