Parlaying a friendship with Adam Sandler into a movie career is a trick that’s worked many times in the past for the likes of David Spade and Rob Schneider, but Kevin James has arguably fared better than the rest of The Sandman’s closest cohorts, in terms of box office numbers at least.
While Spade and Schneider have starred in some of the worst comedies ever made between them, James’ output has been the sort of inoffensive and uninspired fluff that’s come to define Happy Madison Productions over the last two decades. The former King of Queens star has only headlined a handful of feature films, but Here Comes the Boom and Zookeeper both turned a healthy profit.
Of course, none of them have come close to matching the inexplicable success of his Paul Blart: Mall Cop duology, which combined to earn over $290 million globally on total production costs of less than $60 million. Inevitably, both installments were widely panned by critics, but the strength of the Happy Madison brand ensured they played incredibly well with audiences.
Now, sources close to WGTC – the same ones who told us a Justice League Dark show is coming to HBO Max and Luke Skywalker would appear on The Mandalorian – say that a third movie is in the early stages of development, but unfortunately, there are no plot or casting details to report on just yet. In theory, a threequel could be a Netflix exclusive given that the streaming service signed a hugely lucrative deal with Happy Madison to become the home for all of the outfit’s future content, but it isn’t quite as simple as that.
You see, prior to the Netflix deal, most of Sandler’s starring and producing vehicles were distributed by Sony subsidiary Columbia, who still hold the rights to the Paul Blart: Mall Cop property. As such, it’s unclear whether it’ll end up on streaming or in theaters, but we’re told that it’s now being actively developed and with any luck, we’ll learn more about it soon.