Diary of a Wimpy Kid (film)

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Thor Freudenthal
Produced by Nina Jacobson
Brad Simpson
Screenplay by Jackie Filgo
Jeff Filgo

Jeff Judah
Gabe Sachs
Based on Diary of a Wimpy Kid 
by Jeff Kinney
Starring Zachary Gordon
Robert Capron
Rachael Harris
Steve Zahn
Narrated by Zachary Gordon
Music by Theodore Shapiro
Cinematography Jack N. Green
Edited by Wendy Greene Bricmont
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • March 19, 2010 (2010-03-19)
Running time
92 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $15 million[1]
Box office $75.7 million[2]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a 2010 American comedy film directed by Thor Freudenthal and based on Jeff Kinney's book of the same name.[3][4][5] The film stars Zachary Gordon and Devon Bostick. Robert Capron, Rachael Harris, Steve Zahn, and Chloë Grace Moretz also have prominent roles. It is the first film in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film series followed by 2011's Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules and 2012's Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.


At 3:50 AM, Rodrick (Devon Bostick) wakes up Greg and tells him that he is late for his first day of school. He quickly runs downstairs and Rodrick runs down back to his room unknown to Greg. Greg is rushing to get ready for school and accidentally knocks over a chair in the process, Frank Heffley jumps out at his son and tells him it's 4 AM. Greg looks outside the windows and realizes that his dad was right. Greg then tells him Rodrick tricked him and they go to his room only to find a sleeping Rodrick. 11-year-old Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) is anxious to start middle school, confident he will easily become the school's most popular kid. However, Greg worries about how his "uncool and embarrassing" best friend, Rowley Jefferson (Robert Capron), will fit in. While Rowley is a good friend who helps Greg escape his terrorizing older brother, Rodrick (Devon Bostick), Greg worries that Rowley's "dorky" clothes and personality will embarrass both of them.

On their first day, Greg estimates himself as the 19th most popular kid in school and Rowley as the 154th. They meet Angie Steadman (Chloë Grace Moretz), a seventh grader who works for the school's paper. Throughout the school year, Angie gives Greg and Rowley information about the workings of middle school. Classmate Chirag Gupta (Karan Brar) tells them the story behind the moldy slice of Swiss cheese lying on the school's basketball court; upon touching the cheese, a student named Darren Walsh (Harrison Houde) contracted the Cheese Touch and caused the 1st Cheese Touch Pandemic; anyone who touches the cheese will create chaos and they pass on the Cheese Touch by touching someone else. This curse eventually got taken away by a German exchange student named Dieter Müller, who moved back to Düsseldorf over the summer and took the Cheese Touch with him.

Greg is determined to be voted a "class favorite" and listed in the yearbook, but each of his attempts to do so backfires. His popularity quickly drops as he loses to Patty Farrell (Laine MacNeil), Greg's archenemy, and Fregley (Grayson Russell), the weirdest and 201st most popular (past the bottom) kid in school, in scholastic wrestling (taught by Coach Malone, portrayed by Andrew McNee); making Greg the 72nd most popular kid in school. He angers some teenagers on Halloween night by threatening to call the police on them after they spray him and Rowley with a fire extinguisher, and then damages their eight-generation Ford F150 pickup truck with a weed whacker; Greg joins the geeky Safety Patrol with Rowley; and breaks Rowley's left hand during winter vacation whilst playing a game Greg invented with his Big Wheel. At school, everyone notices Rowley's broken hand and Rowley becomes very popular, much to Greg's dismay. Rowley's popularity increases when he beats Greg to become the school paper's cartoonist, despite his dismissal of his ideas.

Greg and Rowley's friendship falls apart after Greg allows Rowley to take the blame for a mistake Greg have made during Safety Patrol. Since Rowley couldn't get his cast wet in the rain, Greg had to walk the kids home, but panicked and began to push the kids into a hole upon seeing a truck similar to the one the teenagers he and Rowley had angered on Halloween. It turned out that it was just a middle-aged man, and Mrs. Irvine mistakes Greg for Rowley, as Greg had borrowed Rowley's coat. Greg ditches the kindergarteners and Mrs. Irvine calls Mr. Winsky.

Mr. Winsky suspends Rowley from Safety Patrol, and forces him to apologize to the kindergarteners, even though he has no idea of what happened. A few days later, Greg tells Rowley the truth and tries to tell it as a joke, but Rowley berates him for being a bad friend. When Mr. Winsky, the Safety Patrol teacher, hears what had actually happened from the kindergarteners, he decides to relieve Greg of his duties and promotes Rowley as the captain.

Rowley then leaves Greg and befriends a kid named Collin Lee (Alex Ferris). Greg tries to move on by having a sleep over with Fregley, but he begins to chase Greg around the house with a booger and into the bathroom where Greg spends the night in. Later that night, Fregley slips a note under the door. Greg passes out when he finds the booger under the corner of the paper. His dad then takes him home.

Greg then tries to pursue popularity without Rowley by auditioning for the school play of The Wizard of Oz. During the auditions he is voted the best singer after performing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and is considered for the main role-Dorothy. But Patty Farrell threatens to have her mother sue the school (commonly used to get her way as her mother has a high authoritative job) giving her the starring role. But the performance is ruined by Farrell when she throws a huge temper tantrum at Greg when he does not sing and blames him for the play being ruined (courtesy of Rodrick filming his singing). As a result of this, Greg throws an apple at her resulting an apple-throwing fight in the middle of the performance, making Greg the 202nd most popular kid.

At the school mother-son dance, Greg's mother Susan (Rachael Harris) suggests her son ask Rowley to go out for ice cream with them. However, after Rowley and his Mom danced, Collin tells Greg that he and Rowley already have plans. Later, Rowley comes up to Greg in school, wanting a video game back. Greg refuses to return the game, causing them to get into an argument and the kids gather around them, wanting them to fight, but are quickly dispelled when the teenagers that Greg and Rowley had angered on Halloween drive up, looking for revenge. The teenagers find the Cheese and make Rowley eat it. They are about to force Greg to eat the cheese when Coach Malone arrives, leading the teenagers to run away. The children return and find the partially eaten cheese. Patty begins to accuse Rowley for causing the 2nd Cheese Touch Pandemic, but Greg steps in and takes the blame. He picks up the cheese and makes a profound speech about the ridiculousness of the cheese and other middle school institutions, but it is ruined when Patty realizes that Greg has the Cheese Touch, causing everyone to run away from Greg. Greg and Rowley reconcile, and Angie approaches them to compliment Greg for his bravery.

The film ends with Greg, Rowley, and Angie laughing after Patty hugged Rowley and contracted the Cheese Touch, and Greg narrating that he still has the summer and next year ahead of him. Greg finally achieves his dream of being made a class favorite along with Rowley as both being made the cutest friends.



Filming of Diary of a Wimpy Kid wrapped up on October 16, 2009.

The official trailer for Wimpy Kid was released virally on January 21, 2010 and was shown in theaters with Tooth Fairy.[6] A poster for the film was released shortly after. Another trailer was shown with Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.[7]

The official Facebook account for Wimpy Kid had uploaded three clips from the film, as of March 1, 2010.[8] In the United Kingdom and Ireland the film was released in cinemas on August 25, 2010.


The soundtrack is supposedly to be released by La La Land Records with special thanks to the labels for the artists; Universal Motown Records (Forever the Sickest Kids), Capitol Records (Beastie Boys), B-Unique Records (Kaiser Chiefs), Columbia Records (Bonnie Tyler, Teddybears), XL Recordings (Electric Six), Rough Trade (1990s), Beautiful Bomb Records (Smash Mouth), Chrysalis Records (Bonnie Tyler), Stick Music (Bonnie Tyler) and Gordy Records (Rick James).[9]

  • "Ride" by The Vines plays when Greg first steps foot in middle school.
  • "Never Miss a Beat" by Kaiser Chiefs. This song is heard when the boys are playing a game called "Gladiator" in gym class.
  • "The Four Seasons" by Vivaldi is played when Greg fantasises about himself being older and rich.
  • "More Than I Can Do" (instrumental version) by Scott Kinney (brother of Jeff Kinney) is played when Löded Diper arrives at Greg's home.
  • "Super Freak" by Rick James was played when Fregley is wrestling Greg.
  • "When They Fight, They Fight" by The Generationals is played when Greg finds out he's in the school paper for being beaten by Patty in wrestling.
  • "Hot" by Smash Mouth is heard when Greg is walking down the hallway wearing a shirt and tie in an effort to win the Class Favorite spot for Best Dressed.
  • "Danger! High Voltage" by Electric Six is heard when Greg and Rowley attempt to escape the teenagers chasing them on Halloween but the weed whacker Greg uses loses control and damages their truck.
  • "Cobrastyle" by Teddybears is played when Greg dreams of auditioning for safety patrols.
  • "O.K. Mr Hillbilly" written by Ron Henley is played when Greg thinks he sees the teenagers from Halloween passing by while on Safety Patrol duty.
  • "You're Supposed to Be My Friend" by 1990s. This song is played when Rowley stops being Greg's friend in favor of Colin Lee.
  • "Total Eclipse of the Heart", written by Jim Steinman, is the song that is sung to when the kids audition for The Wizard of Oz.
  • "We Three Trees", a song from the book, was performed by Greg and two other characters in the School Play.
  • "Time To Die" written by Ali Dee Theodore and Joey Katsaros which was performed by Löded Diper when Greg's mother was about to tell Rodrick off after the latter is accused by Greg of putting an adult magazine in Manny's backpack.
  • "Le Freak" by Chic. This song is played at the Mother/Son Sweetheart Dance when Greg and his mom enter.
  • "The Popular Thing" by Jukebox The Ghost. This song can be heard playing in the background when Greg attempts to make up with Rowley by inviting him to join him for an ice cream after the dance.
  • "Intergalactic" by Beastie Boys is played at the Mother/Son Sweetheart Dance when Rowley and his mom dance along to the song.
  • "What Do You Want From Me (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Mix)" by Forever the Sickest Kids is played during the end credits.
  • "Tear It Up" by White Demons
  • "Up Rock" (slow version) by Ali Dee Theodore and The Deekompressors
  • "Live to Rock" by Brian Tichy


Tie-in book[edit]

A tie-in book, written by Kinney, called The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary was published on March 16, 2010, by Amulet Books (an imprint of Abrams Books). It includes film stills, storyboards, preliminary concept drawings, and also behind the scenes information to humorously chronicle the making of the film. It also includes some new illustrations.[10][11]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 3, 2010. The Blu-ray Version features six pages from Rowley's diary, Diary of an Awesome, Friendly Kid.


Critical response[edit]

Reviews of Diary of a Wimpy Kid have been mixed. Review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, based on 101 reviews, with a Top Critics rating of 50%, and an all critics rating of 53%. The consensus given is "Unlike its bestselling source material, Diary of a Wimpy Kid fails to place a likable protagonist at the center of its middle-school humor – and its underlying message is drowned out as a result."[12] It also holds a "mixed or average" rating of 56 at Metacritic, based on 26 reviews.[13] Roger Ebert gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four, writing "It's nimble, bright and funny. It doesn't dumb down. It doesn't patronize. It knows something about human nature."[14] Glenn Whipp of the Associated Press was less positive, saying, "In transferring the clean, precise humor of Kinney's illustrations and prose to the big-screen, the material loses just a bit of its charm."[15] At the Movies host David Stratton gave the film one star while co-host Margaret Pomeranz gave it half a star. Stratton called the film "tiresome" and said there was "nothing remotely interesting in Thor Freudenthal's direction or the screenplay." Pomeranz disliked the character of Greg Heffley, saying "I really thought he was unpleasant. I did not want to spend time with him. I could not wait for the end of this film."[16]

Box office[edit]

The film opened in second place at the weekend box office grossing $22.1 million, behind Alice in Wonderland.[17]

Despite a lack of distinctive marketing, Diary of a Wimpy Kid drew a decent crowd, opening to $22.1 million on approximately 3,400 screens at 3,077 sites, notably beating out the heavily hyped The Bounty Hunter. It was the biggest start ever for a non-animated, non-fantasy children's book adaptation. Diary of a Wimpy Kid grossed more in its first three days than other film adaptions to children's novels like How to Eat Fried Worms and Hoot grossed in their entire runs.[17] The film grossed $63,003,625 in North America and $11,695,602 in other territories for a worldwide total of $75,699,227.[18]


Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2011 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award Favorite Movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid Nominated
2011 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor Zachary Gordon Nominated [19]
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actor Robert Capron Nominated
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actor Alex Ferris Nominated
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress Laine MacNeil Nominated
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Ensemble Cast Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Devon Bostick, Chloë Grace Moretz, Laine MacNeil, Grayson Russell, Karan Brar, and Alex Ferris Nominated


  1. ^ "Movie Projector: No 'Bounty Hunter,' 'Repo Men' or 'Wimpy Kid' can upstage 'Alice' (updated)". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). March 18, 2010. Archived from the original on August 28, 2010. Retrieved March 19, 2010. The modestly budgeted picture cost 20th Century Fox's movie label Fox 2000 only about $15 million to produce 
  2. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ Breznican, Anthony (September 29, 2009). "First Look: 'Wimpy Kid' actor embraces being 'a likable jerk'". USA Today. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (August 3, 2009). "Steve Zahn to star in 'Wimpy Kid'". Variety. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  5. ^ McCarron, Heather (October 12, 2009). "Nothing 'Wimpy' about local author's success". Milford Daily News. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Diary of A Wimpy Kid Theatrical Trailer". 
  7. ^ Official Wimpy Kid Movie on Facebook (January 2010). "Wimpy Kid Movie Poster". 
  8. ^ Official Wimpy Kid Movie on Facebook (January 2010). "Facebook | Official Wimpy Kid Movie". 
  9. ^ imdb (January 2010). "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)Soundtracks". 
  10. ^ "Jeff Kinney to make The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary". 
  11. ^ The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary, Book Details
  12. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  14. ^ Ebert, Roger (March 17, 2010). "Diary of a Wimpy Kid review". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on August 1, 2010. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. 
  16. ^ David Stratton, Margaret Pomeranz (September 29, 2010). "29 September 2010". At the Movies. September 29, 2010. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 
  17. ^ a b "Weekend Report: 'Alice' Tops Again, 'Diary', 'Bounty' Neck-and-Neck". Box Office Mojo. March 22, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  19. ^ "32nd Annual Young Artist Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 

External links[edit]