Daddy Day Care

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Daddy Day Care
Daddy Day Care movie.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Steve Carr
Produced by John Davis
Wyck Godfrey
Matt Berenson
Written by Geoff Rodkey
Starring Eddie Murphy
Jeff Garlin
Steve Zahn
Regina King
Anjelica Houston
Lacey Chabert
Music by David Newman
Cinematography Steven Poster
Edited by Christopher Greenbury
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • May 9, 2003 (2003-05-09) (United States)
Running time
96 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60 million[1]
Box office $164.4 million[1]

Daddy Day Care is a 2003 American family comedy film starring Eddie Murphy and co-starring Jeff Garlin, Steve Zahn, Regina King, Anjelica Huston and Lacey Chabert. Written by Geoff Rodkey and directed by Steve Carr, the film was released in theaters on May 9, 2003. It was produced by Revolution Studios and released by Columbia Pictures. The film grossed $164 million worldwide on a budget of $60 million. It is also Murphy and Zahn's second collaboration after Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001).


Charlie Hinton (Eddie Murphy) is a food products marketing executive whose wife Kim Hinton (Regina King) has just gone back to work as a lawyer. They enroll their child, Ben Hinton (Khamani Griffin), in Chapman Academy, a very academic pre-school headed by Miss Harridan (Anjelica Huston). But when Kim finds out how much the parents have to pay per month, she takes Ben out of Chapman and looks for other daycare facilities. Some time later, Charlie and his best friend, Phil Ryerson (Jeff Garlin), are laid off. Unable to find either a suitable daycare or new employment, Hinton opens up a day care center in his home with the help of Phil, and calls it Daddy Day Care. At first, the local parents are suspicious of men wanting to work with children, but as Daddy Day Care is cheaper and more child-centered than the academy, the latter begins to lose students.

Unwilling to accept the presence of competition, Miss Harridan attempts to shut down Daddy Day Care by notifying child services that Charlie and Phil are not following the relevant regulations. Mr. Dan Kubitz (Jonathan Katz), a director of child services, notifies them of the codes that need to be fixed, which Charlie and Phil quickly correct. Daddy Day Care grows in popularity and attracts more children. Mr. Kubitz informs Phil and Charlie that they need another employee to keep an appropriate ratio of children to caregivers. Luckily, Marvin (Steve Zahn), a nerdy former co-worker, had dropped by, and after seeing how good he is at entertaining the children, Phil and Charlie ask him about joining. Marvin is unsure at first, but then finds himself falling for Kelli (Leila Arcieri), the single mother of Dylan, and agrees.

Later, Mr. Kubitz tells them they have too many kids to stay at Charlie's residence. They find an abandoned building with potential, but do not have the money to buy it. They hold a fund-raising event called "Rock for Daddy Day Care", which Miss Harridan finds out about. She and her assistant Jenny (Lacey Chabert) wreck the festival by unplugging a bouncy castle, filling the food with cockroaches, switching face paint with glue, releasing animals from the petting zoo, and turning on the park sprinklers. Daddy Day Care does not raise enough money. Shortly after, Charlie and Phil are offered their old jobs back, accepting Miss Harridan's offer to take the kids back to the academy. Marvin, heartbroken by the closing of the day care, declines Charlie and Phil's offer to be on board their marketing panel.

Charlie soon realizes during a cereal pitch that the time he has given to his new life, and the increased bond with his son is "the most important thing", and starts to question the morality of his current assignment (which involves marketing high-sugar breakfast cereal to children). He quits his job and tells Phil to quit with him. Then he and Phil pick up Marvin before heading off to Chapman Academy, and successfully convinces the children and their parents to return to Daddy Day Care, making it a raging success, causing Chapman Academy to shut down for good. Marvin is now in a relationship with Kelli, Miss Harridan gets demoted to a crossing guard, and Jenny joins Daddy Day Care at the new facility.



In April 2002, The Hollywood Reporter reported Eddie Murphy was to reteam with Steve Carr, whom directed Dr. Dolittle 2, in Daddy Day Care.[2] In June 2002, Anjelica Huston was in negotiations to star in the film.[3] The following month, Revolution Studios set Jeff Garlin, as well as Steve Zahn, to join Murphy in the film.[4]

The movie was filmed on location in and around Los Angeles, California. Production was started on August 5, 2002, and wrapped on November 22, 2002. In December 2002, the film's poster was officially released, with the tagline: D-Day is coming.[5]


Critical reception[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 28% rating based on reviews from 127 critics; the site's consensus is: "Daddy Day Care does its job of babysitting the tots. Anyone older will probably be bored."[6] On Metacritic, the film has a 39/100 rating based on 31 reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable" reviews.[7]

Box office[edit]

Despite the negative critical ratings, the film was a box office success, grossing over $160 million worldwide based on a $60 million budget.[1]


Main article: Daddy Day Camp

In August 2003, soon after the release of Daddy Day Care, Murphy was lured into making a sequel movie, although he hadn't signed up for the film.[8]

A sequel was released in 2007 titled Daddy Day Camp, with Cuba Gooding, Jr. replacing Eddie Murphy's role as Charlie Hinton. In 2007, the film won the Razzie Award for "Worst Prequel or Sequel".[9][better source needed]


  1. ^ a b c Daddy Day Care at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ "Eddie Murphy To Take Day Care". April 10, 2002. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Anjelica Huston Day Care's Eddie Murphy". June 17, 2002. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Steve Zahn, Jeff Garlin Join 'Daddy Day Care'". July 26, 2002. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Daddy Day Care (2003)". December 20, 2002. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  6. ^ Daddy Day Care at Rotten Tomatoes
  7. ^ Daddy Day Care at Metacritic
  8. ^ "'Daddy Day Care' sequel planned". August 13, 2003. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  9. ^ Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel

External links[edit]