Head Of State

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  • Directed By: Chris Rock
  • Written By: Chris Rock, Ali LeRoi
  • Release Date: March 28, 2003
  • Domestic Distributor: DreamWorks
  • Cast: Chris Rock, Bernie Mac, Dylan Baker

Box Office Info:
Budget: $35.2 millionFinanced by: DreamWorks
Domestic Box Office: $38,125,247Overseas Box Office: $495,237


DreamWorks financed Chris Rock’s directorial debut Head Of State for $35.2 million.  The mini-major’s 2003 slate was a transitional year for DreamWorks, after it suffered heavy losses from expensive box office flops like Almost FamousThe Legend Of Bagger VanceEvolution and The Last Castle.  The studio released only six features (Biker BoyzOld SchoolHead Of StateSinbad: Legend of the Seven SeasAnything Else and House of Sand and Fog) all of which were modestly budgeted, but only Old School hit it big at the box office.

Head Of State was entirely dependent on the domestic market, as a broad political comedy would have little appeal in the international market.  The picture was dated for March 28, but the national mood dipped when the Iraq invasion began the week prior.  DreamWorks distribution head Jim Tharp was unsure if the war would impact the box office.  He was quoted: “There’s not even a contingency plan to move the film at this point.  The advertising has already started, and we’re pretty much tied to the date.”  

Head Of State landed mixed to poor reviews and bowed against Basic and The Core.  It won the slow weekend with a soft $13,503,484.  Head Of State had a modest 36.5% decline the following frame to $8,578,181 but it sank 53.6% in its third session to $3,982,035.  The domestic run closed with a disappointing $38,125,247.  DreamWorks would see returned about $20.9 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which would not cover the domestic P&A costs and leave the budget in the red.

Overseas, Head Of State barely saw a theatrical release grossing $495,237 and went straight to video in most markets.

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