Well, here goes nothing....! Update to follow.
Update: Okay! Movie watched. And it...was...kind of charming.
I am surprised to admit that I enjoyed Paul Blart, Mall Cop! It's a dorky mainstream comedy but it was fun to watch. While the Seth Rogan mall cop movie should have been more enjoyable, it just...wasn't. It was unwatchable. The premise was funnier but the execution was poor.
There are a lot of similarities between the two movies, though I think Paul Blart had by far the better script. But it got me to wondering: what is the real connection between these two movies? There are just too many similarities to be pure coincidence. Two movies about mall cops who aspire to greater things, live with their moms, and are trying to impress a cute co-worker?? Observe and Report seemed like a direct parody (albeit a bad one) of Paul Blart. But the movies were released too closely for that. Was this a case where it started off as a single script, there were creative differences, and then it branched off into two different movies? (Like what happened with Antz and A Bug's Life?)
I think I may have found the answer. It seems likely that both movies are actually rip-offs of a third movie--specifically, an independent Canadian comedy that was filmed in 2005 but never released. I bet all the funniest scenes from Paul Blart were just stolen from Mall InSecurity, a movie that is probably the funniest of all three but will most likely now never be released:
"There is a controversy surrounding the back-story for both movies, because both movies rely heavily on the main character from a Canadian-filmed independent film entitled “Mall InSecurity”. Pietro Gagliano directed the television pilot “Mall InSecurity” in 2005, while Jordan McCloskey wrote the screen play and acted in the leading role. The creative duo launched their own website, mallinsecurity.ca in 2006, which is now owned by Balls Out Productions. At this point, it is unknown how much of the idea for “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” or “Observe and Report” was sourced directly from “Mall InSecurity,” but for now it is clear that there are some similarities.
"As we see more clips from Seth Rogen’s new movie “Observe and Report”, we will no doubt find more similarities between all three movies. Will this result in copyright infringement? Is it fair use? Since “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” received such poor reviews, does this diminish the significance of the original “Mall InSecurity” as a creative work? Clearly it can’t be seen as a satire or parody, since the original “Mall InSecurity” aimed to poke fun at mall security guards in the first place. It was truly the first of the mall cop genre, if only in spirit. Did Jody Hill or Kevin James actually source their material from “Mall Insecurity”? Probably not, but it is very possible that their characters drew some inspiration from Mall InSecurity, as trailers for the movie have been available online since 2006.
"With a minimal budget and no scheduled release date, it is possible that “Mall InSecurity” may never make it to the big screen. However, given the abundance of alternative media distribution channels, it may still see the light of day."
Compare movie trailers at: http://observeandreport.org/seth-rogen-observe-and-report-mall-insecurity/