Daddy Day Care

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Daddy Day Care
Daddy Day Care movie.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySteve Carr
Produced byJohn Davis
Wyck Godfrey
Matt Berenson
Written byGeoff Rodkey
StarringEddie Murphy
Jeff Garlin
Steve Zahn
Regina King
Anjelica Huston
Music byDavid Newman
CinematographySteven Poster
Edited byChristopher Greenbury
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • May 9, 2003 (2003-05-09) (United States)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States
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, and Anjelica Huston. 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 was Murphy and Carr's second collaboration after Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001).


Charles "Charlie" Hinton is a food products marketing executive whose wife Kim has just gone back to work as a lawyer. They enroll their son Ben, in Chapman Academy, an expensive and very academic pre-school headed by a woman named Miss Harridan. Some time later, Charlie and his best friend, Phillip "Phil" Ryerson, are laid off due to the early 2000s recession. Unable to find either a suitable daycare or new employment, Charlie pulls Ben out of Chapman due to its cost and decides to open up a day care center in his home with the help of Phil, calling it Daddy Day Care. At first, the local parents are suspicious of men wanting to work with kids, but as Daddy Day Care is less expensive and more child-centered than Chapman 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, a director of child services, notifies them of the codes that they need to fix, which Charlie and Phil quickly correct. Mr. Kubitz then informs Phil and Charlie that they need another employee to keep an appropriate ratio of children to caregivers. Luckily, Marvin, 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, the single mother of Dylan (one of the kids in the daycare) and agrees. Daddy Day Care grows in popularity and attracts more children and parents. Charlie, Phil and Marvin each begin enjoying running Daddy Day Care and taking care of the kids, while bonding with them and helping them overcome their issues

Later, Mr. Kubitz tells them they have too many kids for Daddy Day Care to legally continue to operate at Charlie's residence. Marvin tells Charlie and Phil about an available building with potential, but they do not have the money to buy it. They hold a fundraising event called "Rock for Daddy Day Care", which Miss Harridan finds out about. She and her assistant Jenny sabotage 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. As a result, 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 at a lower cost. Marvin, heartbroken by the closing of the day care, declines Charlie and Phil's offer to be on board their marketing panel.

Back at the advertising agency, Charlie and Phil's first assignment is to market a surgary breakfast cereal to children. While listening to a cereal pitch, Charlie realizes the impact Daddy Day Care has had on Ben and the other children and starts to question the morality of his assignment. He quits his job at the advertising agency and convinces Phil to quit with him. He and Phil pick up Marvin before heading off to Chapman Academy. Charlie confronts Harridan, claiming she doesn't care about what children want. Listing examples of how he has helped the children improve, Charlie successfully convinces the children's parents to bring their children back to Daddy Day Care, making it a raging success, and causing Chapman Academy to shut down for good. Marvin is now in a relationship with Kelli, Miss Harridan ends up becoming a school crossing guard, and Jenny joins Daddy Day Care at the new facility.


Cheap Trick appear as themselves at the Rock for Daddy Day Care charity event.


In April 2002, The Hollywood Reporter reported Eddie Murphy was to reteam with Steve Carr, who 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]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 27% based on 128 reviews with an average rating of 4.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Daddy Day Care does its job of babysitting the tots. Anyone older will probably be bored."[6] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 39 out of 100 based on 31 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[7] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.[8]

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] The film was released in the United Kingdom on July 11, 2003, and opened on #3, behind Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and Bruce Almighty.[9] The next two weekends, the film moved down one place, before finally ending up on #10 on August 3, 2003.[10][11][12]


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.[13]

A sequel was released on August 8, 2007, titled Daddy Day Camp, with Cuba Gooding, Jr. replacing Eddie Murphy's role as Charlie Hinton. The film itself was panned by critics and audiences alike with a 1% on Rotten Tomatoes. In 2007, the film won the Razzie Award for "Worst Prequel or Sequel".[14][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. ^ "CinemaScore". Archived from the original on 2015-04-05.
  9. ^ "Weekend box office 11th July 2003 - 13th July 2003". Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  10. ^ "Weekend box office 18th July 2003 - 20th July 2003". Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Weekend box office 25th July 2003 - 27th July 2003". Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  12. ^ "Weekend box office 1st August 2003 - 3rd August 2003". Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  13. ^ "'Daddy Day Care' sequel planned". August 13, 2003. Archived from the original on 2016-04-23. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  14. ^ Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel, and is considered to be one of the worst sequels ever produced.

External links[edit]