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Wherever Adam Sandler goes, Kevin James can usually be found following close behind, with the duo becoming virtually inseparable since the latter made his feature film debut in the pivotal role of Factory Worker in 2004’s 50 First Dates. Since then, the pair have co-starred in a further ten movies from I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry to Hubie Halloween, while James has headlined Happy Madison vehicles Zookeper and Here Comes the Boom.
After playing a series of supporting parts, it was inevitably Sandler and Happy Madison that elevated the former King of Queens star to leading man status for the first time when he portrayed the title character in 2009’s Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Despite receiving reviews that could be described as tepid at best, the comedy was a massive hit at the box office and earned over $180 million on a budget of just $26 million, proving that there’s a big audience out there for James’ brand of humor.
In fact, Paul Blart was popular enough to spawn a sequel six years later, albeit one that wound up making almost $80 million less and was largely savaged by critics, but still turned out to be hugely profitable and continued to reinforce the notion that Happy Madison’s output is virtually bulletproof.
Showing that it isn’t just Adam Sandler who can consistently dominate Netflix‘s Top 10 most-watched list, though, Paul Blart: Mall Cop has now also made its way onto the chart and is currently the tenth most-viewed film in the United States. The movie has retained a surprisingly large following over the last decade, and with James rarely cast as the leading man these days, perhaps the resurgence of his cult favorite comedy could convince the streaming service to have him take top billing in a project for the first time since 2016’s True Memoirs of an International Assassin.