By Stephen M. Silverman
August 05, 1998 12:00 AM

Spike Lee’s $3 million comedy concert film, “The Original Kings of Comedy,” packed a wallop at the box office last weekend, coming in at No. 2 behind the top earning film, “The Cell,” starring Jennifer Lopez. But Spike’s producer, Walter Latham, isn’t satisfied. Friday’s Wall Street Journal reports that “Kings” was booked into only 847 theaters across the country, while the Lopez movie opened in more than 2 1/2 times that number — as did all the other movies on last weekend’s Top 10 box office chart. “Had we been in 2,411 theaters like ‘The Cell’ was, we would have easily been No. 1,” he told the Journal, which goes on to point out that many Hollywood studios still operate under an old mindset regarding the appeal of what is perceived as an African-American film. A rep from Paramount, which is distributing “Kings,” put it another way. “I think we were in exactly the right number of theaters,” said Rob Friedman, a studio vice-president. “We want to feed it, nurse it along as it goes, but not shortchange it.”