The Cookout

Release Date: September 3, 2004

Movie of the Day for Thursday, June 3, 2004
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From Queen Latifah's production company Flavor Entertainment Unit and based on a story idea that the actress helped create, The Cookout honors that time-honored tradition of hanging out in the backyard with friends and family as a feast of hot dogs, hamburgers, brats and potato salad is served up.

Appearing in his first film is rapper Storm P, who is a member of the group Unit along with Latifah. Also known as Quran Pender, the newcomer will play Todd Anderson, a basketball player who is chosen as the number one pick in the NBA draft and subsequently signs a $30 million contract to play for his home team, the New Jersey Nets. All that cash changes his life instantly, and though his mother (Jenifer Lewis) isn't about to let her son forget his roots, he is still vulnerable to the influence of others. He buys a new home in a stuffy white neighborhood, and creates what might just be a case of worlds colliding when he invites his family and friends from the old neighborhood to a cookout. The catch? He accidentally schedules it for the same day that he is supposed to be doing an endorsement interview.

Amidst all of the chaos, waiting in the wings to bust Todd if any of his neighborhood association rules get broken is an eccentric security guard (Latifah). Not surprisingly, when Todd's family arrives, this is just what happens. Curious neighbors can't help but gawk at our hero's extended group of aunts, uncles, and cousins. Todd's embarrassment gets even worse when two thugs named Bling Bling (Ja Rule) and Wheezer (comedian Ruperto Vanderpool) show up to crash the party, holding Todd's girlfriend at gunpoint to force him to autograph some sneakers. Naturally, Todd is quite mortified by everything that is happening, but he soon realizes that his family is so set on eating some good home cooking that they're not even afraid of these criminals. More hijinks surely ensue.

Like Barbershop before it, The Cookout honors the traditions and community of the close-knit black family. It's a terrific concept and should appeal even beyond the intended niche demographic. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Cookout
Main Cast Storm P, Eve, Frankie Faison
Supporting Cast Farrah Fawcett, Danny Glover, Queen Latifah, Jenifer Lewis, Tim Meadows, Vincent Pastore, Ja Rule, Jonathan Silverman, Meagan Good, Maria Soccor, Ruperto Vanderpool
Director Lance Rivera
Screenwriter Ramsey Gbelawoe, Arthur Harris, Jeffery Brian Holmes, Laurie Turner
Distributor Lions Gate
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Rating PG-13
Screen Count 1,303
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for The Cookout
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Bringing Down the House 3/7/0331.10 31.10 2801 11104.00 11104.0 132.68 132.68 4.27
Barbershop 2: Back in Business 2/6/0424.24 24.24 2711 8941.94 8941.9 64.96 64.96 0.00
Barbershop 9/13/0220.63 21.44 1605 12852.00 12852.0 75.07 78.05 3.64
Baby Boy 6/29/018.61 9.18 1533 5614.00 5763.0 28.74 30.67 2.98
My Baby's Daddy 1/9/047.55 7.55 1447 5216.88 5216.9 17.32 17.32 0.00



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