Imagine That (film)

Imagine That is a 2009 American comedy film starring Eddie Murphy, directed by Karey Kirkpatrick, and written by Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson. It centers on the relationship between a workaholic father (Murphy) and his daughter, Olivia (Yara Shahidi), whose imaginary world becomes the secret to her father's success.

Imagine That
Imagine That film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKarey Kirkpatrick
Written by
Produced by
CinematographyJohn Lindley
Edited byDavid Moritz
Music byMark Mancina
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • June 12, 2009 (2009-06-12) (United States)
  • August 14, 2009 (2009-08-14) (United Kingdom)
  • October 29, 2009 (2009-10-29) (Germany)
Running time
107 minutes
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
Budget$55 million[1]
Box office$23 million[1]

The film had its premiere at the Paramount Theater on the Paramount Studios Lot in Los Angeles, California and was then widely released on June 12, 2009. Murphy was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor for his work in the film. The film was a co-production between Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies. The film received mixed to negative reviews from critics and audiences and was a box office bomb, grossing $25 million against a budget of $55 million.


Evan Danielson (Murphy) is a successful financial advisor, who had been working at the same securities firm for eight years as their top account manager, until Johnny Whitefeather (Thomas Haden Church) was hired as his rival. Whitefeather seems to have the whole company under a spell as he spiels his nonsensical idioms filled with Native American mumbo jumbo. The top executives seem more content with chanting Indian-style noises rather than listening to how they can make money through sound investments.

When Evan discovers that his daughter, Olivia (Shahidi), is able to tell the future within the financial world by using her "goo-gaa" comfort blanket and her imaginary friends (Queen Qwali and Princesses Kupida, Sopida and Mopida), he discovers that he now has an invaluable upper hand at the office. During work, Olivia accidentally draws all over Evan's worksheets for a meeting. Outraged, Evan goes to the meeting and he shows off the paperwork and explains that ChemStar is sparkly, and Aerodyne and Yellowfin will get married, confusing his colleagues. Evan thinks he is about to be fired, but his boss informs him that all his predictions came through. The share price of ChemStar shot up, while Aerodyne and Yellowfin were preparing to merge.

After only a few days with Olivia, Evan rediscovers his inner child, and has fun playing imaginary games with Olivia. Whitefeather becomes suspicious and begins to search for Evan's secret. When he learns that Evan was just playing with a wakalyapi blanket, Whitefeather purchases a six thousand dollar blanket and forces his son to tell him the "future" and makes him extremely hyperactive by making him drink many cans of Red Bull.

Whitefeather and Evan are now competing for the position of heading the Western division of the company D.D.E. In order to be prepared for the most important presentation of his life, Evan must once again invoke the use of the Goo-Gaa blanket and meet with the princesses. Olivia is spending the night at her friend's house, and there is no way for Evan to obtain the Goo-Gaa without taking it from her. Also, the presentations will be held on the day of Olivia's class play. Evan manages to get Olivia to give him the Goo-Gaa, but she is soon seen crying because he seems to care only about the blanket, not her. Evan returns home and tries to get the princesses' attention. Evan then starts working on his presentation. As hours pass, Evan stretches, and the Goo-Gaa falls on the floor, but he continues working without noticing.

Evan decides to go to the presentation instead of Olivia's class concert. Johnny gives his presentation, but his idea is too crazy for the owner of the company. Then it is Evan's turn. When he is about to present, Evan suddenly decides to go to Olivia's class concert, and leaves the presentation. As he drives over, Evan changes into a king costume. Back at the class concert, Olivia is about to sing her solo part when Evan appears dressed as a king, and Olivia starts singing, delighted to see him.

After the class concert, Evan tells Olivia how sorry he is for misusing her blanket, not caring about her, and for using the princesses for the wrong reason. Meanwhile, the owner of the company, D.D.E. appears, and wants to talk to Evan. He and Evan talk, and he decides to give the position to Evan because of how much Evan cares about his family. Evan accepts. Evan goes back to Olivia, for whom it is time to say good-bye to the princesses. They both start waving, and as a gust of wind blows, some leaves form into the shape of a person then fly off into the sky. Evan, Olivia's mother Trish, and Olivia leave happy.



The working title for the film was "Nowhereland".[2] Filming ran from 10 September to 14 December in 2007, at locations including Denver[3] and Los Angeles.


The score to Imagine That was composed by Mark Mancina, who recorded his score with an 83-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Sony Scoring Stage.[4]

The film soundtrack features several covers of Beatles songs, such as "Got to Get You into My Life", "Nowhere Man", and two different versions of "Here Comes the Sun", while the song "All You Need Is Love" plays a part in the film's plot.


Box officeEdit

On its opening weekend, the film ran sixth, grossing $5.5 million in 3,008 theaters with an $1,830 average.[5] The film went on to gross $22.3 million worldwide.[1] This opening was similar to Murphy's previous summer movie, Meet Dave, which also had a lackluster opening week. However, Meet Dave received worse reviews than Imagine That. 'Imagine That' was released in the United Kingdom on August 14, 2009, and failed to reach the Top 15.[6]

About the movie's modest success, Murphy said: "The movie didn’t have a chance at the box office – it’s just me and this little girl and a blanket."[7] He said that he considers the movie one of the worst he has made, and said: "If I really want to cry, I'll put on 'Imagine That'."[8]

Critical responseEdit

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 41% based on 120 reviews, with an average rating of 4.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Despite a promising turn by newcomer Yara Shahidi, Imagine That is another pedestrian family comedy that squanders Eddie Murphy's comedic talents."[9] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 54 out of 100, based on reviews from 23 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[10] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade "A-" on scale of A to F.[11]

Joe Leydon of Variety called it "An undemandingly pleasant, mildly amusing fantasy."[12] Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter wrote: "The result is a much more playable film than recent efforts, though Murphy will have to share the applause with young Yara Shahidi."[13]Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called it "Amusing without ever being break-out funny."[14]


Award Category Nominee Result
30th Golden Raspberry Awards[15] Worst Actor Eddie Murphy Nominated
Worst Actor of the Decade Won
2010 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress Yara Shahidi Nominated

Home mediaEdit

Imagine That was released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 13, 2009.[16]


  1. ^ a b c "Imagine That (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  2. ^ Calhoun, Patricia (11 June 2009). "Colorado Film Commission, Take 2". Westword.
  3. ^ "In "Imagine That," Denver gleams, the script doesn't". The Denver Post. 10 June 2009.
  4. ^ Dan Goldwasser (June 17, 2008). "Mark Mancina scores NowhereLand". Retrieved June 17, 2008.
  5. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for June 12–14, 2009". Box Office Mojo. June 14, 2009. Retrieved June 19, 2009.
  6. ^ "Weekend box office 14th August 2009 - 16th August 2009". Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  7. ^ Hiatt, Brian (9 November 2011). "Eddie Murphy Speaks: The Rolling Stone Interview". Rolling Stone.
  8. ^ Kyriazis, Stefan (August 23, 2016). "Eddie Murphy WILL return to stand-up comedy as he CRIES revealing his three worst films".
  9. ^ "Imagine That". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. June 14, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  10. ^ "Imagine That (2009): Review". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved June 19, 2009.
  11. ^ "Imagine That (2009) A-". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 20 December 2018.
  12. ^ Leydon, Joe (7 June 2009). "Imagine That". Variety.
  13. ^ Kirk Honeycutt (7 June 2009). "Imagine That -- Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter.
  14. ^ Ebert, Roger (June 10, 2009). "Using his Securities Blanket". Chicago Sun-Times.
  15. ^ "Sandra Bullock wins 'worst actress' at the Razzies". The Daily Telegraph. March 7, 2010. Retrieved March 7, 2010.
  16. ^ 'Imagine That' -

External linksEdit