Problem Child 2 (1991)

PG-13 | 85 mins | Comedy | 3 July 1991

Director:

Brian Levant

Producer:

Robert Simonds

Cinematographer:

Peter Smokler

Production Designer:

Maria Caso

Production Company:

Imagine Films
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HISTORY

The 16 Jan 1991 DV announced the start of principal photography in Orlando, FL, on 17 Jan 1991, with actors John Ritter, Jack Warden, and Michael Oliver reprising their roles from the first film in the series, Problem Child (1990, see entry). According to production notes in AMPAS library files, approximately seventy percent of the picture was comprised of exterior scenes. Interiors were built on soundstages at Universal Studios Florida. Producer Robert Simonds explained that filming inside an actual house would create “technical restrictions,” and require a longer production schedule.
       Problem Child 2 opened to generally negative reviews, and grossed approximately $25 million, less than half the earnings of its predecessor, as noted in the 28 Jan 1992 HR.
       The article also reported that Universal Pictures was suing Michael Oliver and his mother, Dianne Ponce, claiming an agreement to pay the child actor’s $250,000 salary “was made under duress.” Universal originally agreed to pay Oliver $80,000, twice the salary he received for his previous film. However, one week before the start of principal photography, a talent agent representing Oliver demanded $250,000, and “a portion of net profits, merchandising and fees if a television pilot was made,” plus $20,000 for Dianne Ponce, or the actor would withdraw from the project. Universal was forced to comply, as it had already invested $4 million in the picture, and would incur further expenses and delays to recast Oliver’s role. The studio likened the deal to extortion, and evicted Ponce from the hotel where the cast was lodged. Universal sought $190,000 plus interest, and a declaration invalidating ... More Less

The 16 Jan 1991 DV announced the start of principal photography in Orlando, FL, on 17 Jan 1991, with actors John Ritter, Jack Warden, and Michael Oliver reprising their roles from the first film in the series, Problem Child (1990, see entry). According to production notes in AMPAS library files, approximately seventy percent of the picture was comprised of exterior scenes. Interiors were built on soundstages at Universal Studios Florida. Producer Robert Simonds explained that filming inside an actual house would create “technical restrictions,” and require a longer production schedule.
       Problem Child 2 opened to generally negative reviews, and grossed approximately $25 million, less than half the earnings of its predecessor, as noted in the 28 Jan 1992 HR.
       The article also reported that Universal Pictures was suing Michael Oliver and his mother, Dianne Ponce, claiming an agreement to pay the child actor’s $250,000 salary “was made under duress.” Universal originally agreed to pay Oliver $80,000, twice the salary he received for his previous film. However, one week before the start of principal photography, a talent agent representing Oliver demanded $250,000, and “a portion of net profits, merchandising and fees if a television pilot was made,” plus $20,000 for Dianne Ponce, or the actor would withdraw from the project. Universal was forced to comply, as it had already invested $4 million in the picture, and would incur further expenses and delays to recast Oliver’s role. The studio likened the deal to extortion, and evicted Ponce from the hotel where the cast was lodged. Universal sought $190,000 plus interest, and a declaration invalidating the disputed agreement. Oliver’s contract reportedly included options for two additional “Problem Child” films. On 27 Apr 1993, DV announced that a jury ruled in favor of Universal, requiring Oliver to return $170,000 to the studio. Ponce and Oliver hoped to retry the case, but their petition was refused by the Los Angeles Superior Court, as stated in the 16 Jun 1993 HR.
       End credits include the following statements: “Special thanks to: The Orlando Film Office, The Kaley School, Leu Gardens, Peabody Hotel, The Bubble Room, Turkey Lake Park, Glen Beigh Hospital, and the people of Orlando”; “Boxing footage courtesy of Prime Ticket Network”; and, “Filmed entirely on location in Orlando, Florida, and Universal Studios, Florida.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
16 Jan 1991.
---
Daily Variety
27 Apr 1993.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jul 1991
p. 5, 34.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jan 1992
p. 3, 91.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jun 1993
p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
5 Jul 1991
Calendar, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
27 Apr 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
18 Jun 1993.
---
New York Times
5 Jul 1991
p. 6.
Variety
8 Jul 1991
pp. 49-50.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Universal Pictures presents
An Imagine Films Entertainment production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
B cam op
1st cam asst
2d cam asst
Film loader
Video assist
Chief lighting tech
Best boy elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Rigging key grip
Rigging grip best boy
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Rigging gaffer
Rigging best boy gaffer
Lamp op
Rigging elec
Still photog
Video playback
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
Post prod supv
Addl ed
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Post prod asst
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Asst set dec
Leadman
Draftsman
Draftsman
Artist/Sculptor
Buyer
Model builder
"Love Rock" built by
On set dresser
Swing gang
Const coord
Const foreman
Labor foreman
Standby painter
Lead painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Set costumer
MUSIC
Mus editing
Orch
Mus contractor
Mus preparation
Mus mixer
Mus supv
Mus supv
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Utility sd
Utility sd
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
ADR ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Supv re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff
Spec eff
Titles and opt eff by
MAKEUP
Supv makeup artist
Makeup artist
Supv hair stylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Loc mgr
Loc asst
Scr supv
Dial coach
L.A. casting asst
Florida casting
Florida casting asst
Florida casting asst
Extras casting
Extras casting asst
Chief lighting tech
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Florida transportation capt
Unit pub
Asst to Robert Simonds
Asst to Brian Levant
Asst to John Ritter
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Guardian for Michael Oliver
Studio welfare worker
Studio welfare worker
First aid
Craft service
Animals provided by
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Insects provided by
Video playback
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
ANIMATION
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Processing by
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski.
SONGS
“Only The Strong Survive,” written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, performed by Bryan Adams, courtesy of A&M Records
“Get Ready,” written by William Robinson, performed by The Temptations, courtesy of Motown Record Company L.P.
“Real Wild Child,” written by Johnny O’Keefe, Johnny Greenan, Dave Owens, performed by Iggy Pop, courtesy of A&M Records
+
SONGS
“Only The Strong Survive,” written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, performed by Bryan Adams, courtesy of A&M Records
“Get Ready,” written by William Robinson, performed by The Temptations, courtesy of Motown Record Company L.P.
“Real Wild Child,” written by Johnny O’Keefe, Johnny Greenan, Dave Owens, performed by Iggy Pop, courtesy of A&M Records
“Saved By Love,” written and performed by Rik Emmett, courtesy of Charisma Records America, Inc.
“Whammer Jammer,” written by Juke Joint Jimmy, performed by J. Geils Band, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“(Don’t Make Me) Nervous,” written by Christopher Ewen, Anthony Kaczynski, John Rolski, Michael Smith, and Perry Tell, performed by Figures On A Beach, courtesy of Sire Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Walk Away,” written by Leslie Howe, Alanis Morissette, Frank Levin, Louise Reny, performed by Alanis, courtesy of Hot Mustard Records
“Go For It,” written by Martin Page, Brian Fairweather, performed by Q-Feel, courtesy of Jive Records
“Bad To The Bone,” written and performed by George Thorogood, courtesy of EMI Records USA, a division of Capitol Records, Inc., by arrangement with Cema Special Markets
“Satch Boogie,” written and performed by Joe Satriani, courtesy of Relativity Records, Inc.
“Turtle Death,” from the motion picture “My Blue Heaven,” written and performed by Ira Newborn, courtesy of Warner Bros. Inc.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
3 July 1991
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 3 July 1991
New York opening: 4 July 1991
Production Date:
began 17 January 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Universal City Studios, Inc.
Copyright Date:
11 December 1991
Copyright Number:
PA547017
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® cameras & lenses
Duration(in mins):
85
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32219
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Newly divorced Ben Healy and his adopted son, Junior, leave their hometown of Cold River to begin a new life in Mortville. As they enter town, Junior makes an enemy of Trixie Young by popping her balloon with his slingshot. Although Junior likes their new home, he is annoyed with the dozens of divorced women lined up outside the door, bearing baked goods. The Healys are invited to a barbecue by neighbor Alan Burger, who informs Ben that the ratio of women to men in Mortville is twenty to one. Irritated by Alan and his bratty daughters, Dolly and Madison, Junior rigs the barbecue to explode. On his first day of school, Junior is introduced to the new principal, Igor Peabody, a former child psychologist who hates children. Remembering Junior from their unpleasant encounter in Cold River, Mr. Peabody is anxious to graduate the boy as soon as possible, and promotes him from third grade to sixth grade. Junior is an object of ridicule among his older classmates, until he overpowers Murph, a bully who has spent much of his life in the sixth grade. Meanwhile at the bank, Ben Healy unknowingly becomes the love interest of town oligarch Lawanda Dumore, who is attracted by his resemblance to her six ex-husbands. Later, as Ben meets his son outside school, he is struck by a falling television satellite dish, which Murph had intended for Junior. Ben awakens in the infirmary to the sight of school nurse Annie Young, and exaggerates his injuries as an excuse to extend his stay. In the waiting room, Junior attempts to deface Annie’s photograph, ... +


Newly divorced Ben Healy and his adopted son, Junior, leave their hometown of Cold River to begin a new life in Mortville. As they enter town, Junior makes an enemy of Trixie Young by popping her balloon with his slingshot. Although Junior likes their new home, he is annoyed with the dozens of divorced women lined up outside the door, bearing baked goods. The Healys are invited to a barbecue by neighbor Alan Burger, who informs Ben that the ratio of women to men in Mortville is twenty to one. Irritated by Alan and his bratty daughters, Dolly and Madison, Junior rigs the barbecue to explode. On his first day of school, Junior is introduced to the new principal, Igor Peabody, a former child psychologist who hates children. Remembering Junior from their unpleasant encounter in Cold River, Mr. Peabody is anxious to graduate the boy as soon as possible, and promotes him from third grade to sixth grade. Junior is an object of ridicule among his older classmates, until he overpowers Murph, a bully who has spent much of his life in the sixth grade. Meanwhile at the bank, Ben Healy unknowingly becomes the love interest of town oligarch Lawanda Dumore, who is attracted by his resemblance to her six ex-husbands. Later, as Ben meets his son outside school, he is struck by a falling television satellite dish, which Murph had intended for Junior. Ben awakens in the infirmary to the sight of school nurse Annie Young, and exaggerates his injuries as an excuse to extend his stay. In the waiting room, Junior attempts to deface Annie’s photograph, but her daughter, Trixie, uses martial arts to stop him. Sometime later, Ben takes Debbie Claukinski to dinner, leaving Junior with a babysitter named Rhoda. Convinced that Debbie is trying to usurp his father, Junior telephones her ex-husband, Voytek Claukinski, who has been living in poverty since the divorce. Junior coerces Voytek to intrude on his father’s dinner date, which results in the Claukinskis getting back together. He then places a video camera in the master bedroom, where Rhoda and her “skuzzy” boyfriend are making love, and projects the image on the front of the house. Late in the evening, Ben’s father, “Big Ben” Healy, appears at the door, accompanied by his deranged dog, Nippy. Big Ben begs for lodging because his latest business venture left him destitute, and he is assigned to Junior’s room, where he thoughtlessly imposes on the boy. In school, Junior learns about Mortville’s signature attraction, the “Love Rock,” a spherical boulder with the impression of a red heart, reputed to possess magical powers. Junior follows Trixie through the halls with a slingshot, and she retaliates with a fire hose. When Ben picks up Junior from the infirmary, he invites Annie Young to dinner, but she declines, citing an unnamed problem that limits her personal involvements. Determined to find a new wife, Ben makes a date with a woman named Emily, which ends badly after Junior attempts to electrocute her. Tensions build between Junior and Big Ben, leading to a confrontation that leaves the old man stranded in a tree. Believing his son is starved for attention, Ben offers to spend the day with Junior. They visit a carnival, where Junior is barred from the “Crazy Dance” ride due to arbitrary enforcement of a height requirement. He sabotages the ride, resulting in chain-reaction vomiting among the passengers. Afterward, Ben explains that his need for a social life is not an affront to Junior, and demands socially acceptable behavior from his son. They return home to find their house gaudily redecorated by Lawanda Dumore, who claims the service comes with each new checking account. Junior makes a subtle protest by knocking over a potted plant, prompting Lawanda to threaten the boy if he interferes with her plans. Big Ben encourages a prospective romance between his son and Lawanda, certain that she will finance his next venture. Lawanda makes dinner for the family, which Junior ruins with a swarm of cockroaches. Afterward, Lawanda informs Junior that she will transfer him to an Iraqi boarding school after she marries his father. During an open house at Mortville Elementary School, a patriotic puppet show turns obscene, and Ben holds Junior responsible, until Annie Young exposes her daughter, Trixie, as the culprit. Ben and Annie bond over their mutual struggles with their children, but she continues to refuse his advances, explaining that Trixie occupies all her time. Certain that Annie can never return his affection, Ben settles for Lawanda, who persuades him to marry her the following Saturday. Hoping to delay the ceremony, Junior contaminates Lawanda’s blood sample with rabies virus, resulting in her hospitalization. When Lawanda insists on having the wedding in her hospital room, Junior switches her chart with a neighboring patient who is having his nose extended. That evening, Ben and Junior encounter Annie and Trixie at a restaurant and join them for dinner. The children notice Mr. Peabody at a nearby table and engage him in a food fight. As the two families are escorted from the restaurant, Junior and Trixie agree that Annie and Ben belong together. Meanwhile, Lawanda awakens in the hospital and emits an anguished scream at the sight of her enormous new nose. The children make their way to the Love Rock and wish for their parents to marry. However, Ben stifles his feelings for Annie and proceeds with marrying Lawanda the next day. Lawanda arrives with her nose completely restored, achieved with $380,000 worth of emergency plastic surgery. Trixie Young halts the wedding by commandeering a bulldozer and rolling the Love Rock over the bride. Ben thanks the children for their interference and declares his love for Annie. Desperate for the Dumore fortune, Big Ben proposes to Lawanda and she accepts. With the help of Junior and an M-80, the wedding cake is propelled through the air and hits Big Ben and Lawanda. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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