Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (film)

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
The title Dog Days in large red letters, the letter O replaced by the head of a cartoon character. Under the logo are three boys and a dog.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid Bowers
Screenplay by
Based onDiary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
by Jeff Kinney
Produced by
CinematographyAnthony B. Richmond
Edited byTroy Takaki
Music byEdward Shearmur
Distributed by20th Century Fox[2]
Release date
  • August 3, 2012 (2012-08-03)
Running time
94 minutes[2]
CountriesUnited States
Budget$22 million[3]
Box office$77.1 million[4]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is a 2012 American comedy film directed by David Bowers from a screenplay by Wallace Wolodarsky and Maya Forbes. It stars Zachary Gordon and Steve Zahn. Robert Capron, Devon Bostick, Rachael Harris, Peyton List, Grayson Russell, and Karan Brar also have prominent roles. It is the third installment in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film series. It was released by 20th Century Fox on August 3, grossing $77.1 million and receiving mixed reviews.

The film is based on the third and fourth books of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series, The Last Straw and Dog Days, respectively. The "Holly Hills" and "Spag Union" portions of the film are featured in the third book, while much of the rest is based on the fourth book.

The film is also the last one in the series to feature the original cast members, as many of the cast (such as Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron and Devon Bostick) outgrew their roles and new actors were cast for the next installment Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, which was released on May 19, 2017.


After Greg and Rodrick develop a brotherly bond, their family visits the local pool, where they run into Lenwood Heath, a reformed delinquent friend of Rodrick's who works as a lifeguard. Heath attends Spag Union, a military school that begins at the eighth grade. Frank notes that Greg is about to enter eighth grade and considers signing him up.

After learning that Greg spent his entire first day of summer vacation playing video games, Frank disables the family's television set. Susan starts a book club for Greg and his friends and urges Frank to spend more time with him. Frank takes Greg fishing and to a Civil War reenactment, but his incompetence annoys Frank.

Rowley invites Greg to the local country club. Initially reluctant, he joins Rowley as a guest after learning that his crush, Holly Hills, teaches tennis there. Frank surprises Greg with an unpaid summer internship at his office, hoping they can bond. Disliking the idea, Greg lies about getting a job at the country club, to Frank and Susan's delight. Frank and Susan give Greg a starter cell phone that only allows him to call home or 911.

Rowley invites Greg on a family trip to a rented beach house near the boardwalk, and they ride a ride called the Cranium Shaker that Rodrick suggested, despite Rowley's parents forbidding them from going on "scary rides". Greg becomes increasingly uneasy with the Jeffersons' eccentric lifestyle and secretly uses Rowley's father Robert's laptop computer to email Susan to get himself out of the trip. The Jeffersons confront him after he accidentally sends the email to everyone on Robert's contact list. He desperately tries to call home using his phone, but inadvertently calls 911, leading to Robert almost getting arrested for coming to the door with a knife in his hand. Greg is sent home early, and Frank starts to believe that Rowley is a bad influence.

A few days later, Rowley informs Greg that he is no longer allowed to invite him to the country club, but he sneaks in by impersonating members. After Rodrick learns that Holly's sister, Heather, whom he has a crush on, also works at the club, he asks Greg to help him sneak in. Greg reconciles with Rowley and gets Löded Diper a gig for Heather's upcoming sweet sixteen, to Rodrick's delight. During another country club visit, Robert confronts Frank and Greg over Greg's purchase of two hundred and sixty dollars worth of smoothies. Frank mentions that Greg has a "job" there, but the manager denies this. Learning the truth of Greg's deception, Frank expresses his disappointment with him. Shortly after, Rodrick reveals to him that a Spag Union disc has been mailed to them, to his horror.

Rodrick urges Greg to go on the "Wilderness Weekend" camping trip with his classmates to impress Frank. During it, Fregley tells a scary story about a muddy hand. Spooked, Greg strikes Frank's hand with a mallet. Greg admits his guilt over constantly messing up. The next day, after overhearing Frank's boss, Stan Warren, insult him over his lack of camping skills, Greg sets a trap with his friends and sneaks into Stan's tent, where he discovers that their troop has been cheating by using household appliances. Stan discovers Greg and insults him, but Frank chastises Stan for faking his camping skills. He runs into Greg's trap, humiliating himself. At a motel, Frank confesses he never liked camping and decides not to send Greg to Spag Union, to his surprise and delight. He also talks to him about learning from mistakes and taking responsibility, making them both realize they are more alike than they thought.

At Heather's party a few days later, Löded Diper performs a hard rock cover of "Baby" with Rodrick on lead vocals to try to impress her. The performance goes awry when he accidentally knocks over a huge ice bust of her. She attempts to assault him with a microphone stand but smashes a chocolate fountain with it, ending the party in disaster. Holly and Greg become a couple and spend the rest of their summer together with Rowley and the rest of the Heffleys.


  • Zachary Gordon as Greg Heffley, the main character.
  • Steve Zahn as Frank Heffley, Greg's father.
  • Robert Capron as Rowley Jefferson, Greg's best friend.
  • Devon Bostick as Rodrick Heffley, Greg's older brother.
  • Rachael Harris as Susan Heffley, Greg's mother.
  • Peyton List as Holly Hills, Greg's crush and eventual girlfriend.
  • Grayson Russell as Fregley, a weird friend of Greg's.
  • Karan Brar as Chirag Gupta, one of Greg's friends.
  • Bryce Hodgson as Ben, one of Rodrick’s friends.
  • Laine MacNeil as Patty Farrell, Greg's arch-enemy.
  • Melissa Roxburgh as Heather Hills, Holly's older sister and Rodrick's crush. Roxburgh previously played Rachel Lewis, one of the girls at Rodrick's party in the second film.
  • Connor and Owen Fielding as Manny Heffley, Greg's younger brother.
  • Alfred E. Humphreys as Robert Jefferson, Rowley's father who dislikes Greg. This was Humphreys’ final film role before his death in 2018.
  • Bronwen Smith as Mrs. Jefferson, Rowley's mother.
  • Terence Kelly as Grandpa Heffley, Susan's father-in-law, Frank's father, and Greg, Rodrick, and Manny's paternal grandfather.
  • Oliver as Sweetie, the Heffleys’ pet dog.
  • Tom Stevens as Lenwood Heath, a friend of Rodrick and a lifeguard in the local pool.
  • Philip Maurice Hayes as Stan Warren, Frank's boss.
  • Latonya Williams as Amy, a receptionist at the Plainview Heights country club.
  • Nicole Fraissinet as Julie, another receptionist at the Plainview Heights country club whom Greg introduces himself to as Roland Gropper.
  • John Shaw as Mr. Draybick, a history teacher at Greg's school.
  • Andrew McNee as Coach Malone, Greg's gym teacher.
  • Dalila Bela as Taylor Pringle, a rude and unforgiving little girl.
  • Elise Gatien as Madison, Heather's best friend.
  • Frank C. Turner as Troopmaster Barrett, the scoutmaster of Troop 133.
  • Doug Abrahams as a man who supposedly rescued Rodrick from drowning.
  • Amitai Marmorstein as a man who works on the Cranium Shaker.

Jeff Kinney, the author of the series, reprises his role from the previous film as Holly's and Heather's father.


The film was produced on a budget of $22 million.[3] Principal photography began on August 8, 2011, in Vancouver and was completed on October 7, 2011.[5] The location for the country club pool was the Eagle Ridge Pool in Coquitlam, British Columbia. Filming there took place during the end of August 2011.[6][7][8][9] The municipal pool scenes at the beginning and the end of the movie were filmed at Steveston Pool in Richmond, BC. Filming occurred there during the beginning of September 2011.[10][11][12] The Chinese Bunkhouse at the Steveston Shipyards in Richmond was the location of the Wilderness Explorers cabin for Troop 133.[13][14] During filming, stars Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron, were seen riding the Corkscrew at Playland at Vancouver's fair, the PNE.[13] Capron had to wear a wig for the film, as his hair was shaved to play the role of Young Curly in The Three Stooges, as explained in The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary book. A poster was leaked in March 2012. A teaser trailer was attached to The Three Stooges.[15] An advance screening for the film was held on July 31, 2012.[16]


The film was released in U.S. theaters August 3, 2012[17]

The film was released on iTunes on December 4, 2012[18] and on DVD and Blu-ray in the United States on December 18, 2012.[19]

An animated short film set after the events of the film, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Class Clown, was released on the home media release of it, with Zachary Gordon reprising his role as Greg Heffley, and audio of various other cast members from the film covering it.[citation needed]


Box office[edit]

The film grossed $49,008,662 in the U.S. and Canada, and $28,221,033 in other territories, for a total gross of $77,229,695.[4]

The film grossed $14,623,599 in its opening weekend in 3,391 theaters. It later expanded to 3,401 theaters in its second weekend, where it grossed $8,002,166.[20]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 52% of 75 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.5/10. The website's consensus reads: "Overly familiar and a bit too reliant on slapstick, the sitcom-like Dog Days fails to improve upon previous installments and will likely appeal to few outside its target audience."[21] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 54 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[22] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale, the same grade as the two previous films.[23]

Abby West of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B+ and wrote "Though often self-centered and conniving, Greg remains a likable kid, and the movie entertains by pulling off over-the-top scenarios that set up digestible life lessons for youngsters."[24] OregonLive.com praised Zachary Gordon's acting, writing, "[h]is easy likeability and general relatability are perhaps two of the biggest keys to Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days."[25]

Matt Mueller of OnMilwaukee gave the film a negative review, calling it "manic, forced, predictable, scatterbrained and often times unpleasant." He criticized its "overstuffed screenplay" for being "very attention-deficit, cramming in numerous wacky plot elements, most of them solely existing for predictable jokes that were met in my screening with interminable silence." He wrote that "[s]ome of the storylines could've made for decent movies on their own," particularly the one where Greg joins the Boy Scouts, but that they were only brought back "when the screenplay needs another forced comic set piece or ill-fated attempt at wringing unearned emotion." He disliked Greg's behavior, writing "He's lazy and wildly selfish, taking advantage of his friend's unbridled kindness. His trip with the Jeffersons ends with Greg insulting the entire family and getting Robert arrested by the police. Later in the film, he runs up their bill sneaking into the country club. What part of this behavior is charming?" The review concludes with Mueller writing, "In Dog Days' lone earnest moment, Rowley astutely explains that his parents' disappointment is worse than their yelling. In that case, I'm not angry that a movie like this can take the joys of childhood and make them so joyless and unpleasant. I'm disappointed."[26]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards March 23, 2013 Favorite Movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Nominated [27]
Favorite Movie Actor Zachary Gordon Nominated
Young Artist Awards May 5, 2013 Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor Zachary Gordon Nominated [28]
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actor Robert Capron Won
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actor Karan Brar Nominated
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress Laine MacNeil Nominated
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actor Ten and Under Connor & Owen Fielding Nominated
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress Ten and Under Dalila Bela Nominated
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Ensemble Cast Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Peyton List, Karan Brar, Laine MacNeil, Connor & Owen Fielding, Devon Bostick, Grayson Russell Won


Standalone sequel[edit]

At the time of its release, the film was described as the last live-action one in the franchise.[29][30] In August 2012, while doing press for the film, Jeff Kinney, Zachary Gordon, and Robert Capron each indicated that there were no plans for a fourth one, but did not dismiss the possibility entirely.[29][30][31] Kinney replied to inquiries regarding the possibility of another sequel, stating, "At present, we don’t have a fourth film in development, but you never know!"[31]

And when describing the likelihood of starring in another film in the series, Gordon explained, "[Dog Days] most likely will be the last movie. The main problem is [the cast is] getting older. You can't stop it. There's no way to temporarily stop us from changing and growing up. You know, that's the problem because the characters are supposed to be timeless."[29] In March 2013, he stated in a Spreecast live stream that there would not be a fourth live-action film.[32] Jeff Kinney had indicated that instead of doing a live-action film of the sixth novel Cabin Fever, he would like to see it adapted into an animated one, stating in an interview, "I hope that it gets made into an animated movie. I'd really like to see it turn into an animated television special."

On July 29, 2016, it was announced that a new film with a different cast based on the 9th book, The Long Haul, had begun production.[33] It was released on May 19, 2017, to a modest box-office success and a critical low for the franchise.[34]

Animated film series[edit]

On December 10, 2020, it was announced on Disney Investors Day that an animated film based on the books would premiere on Disney+ sometime in 2021.[35] It will be another reboot, and will be computer-animated, along with any other future Wimpy Kid movies. The animated film was released on December 3, 2021.


  1. ^ a b "Diary of a Wimpy Kid Dog Days (2012)". British Film Institute. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved June 3, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Kaufman, Amy (August 2, 2012). "'Total Recall' will fight 'Dark Knight Rises' for No. 1". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  5. ^ "Film List" (PDF). British Columbia Film Commission. August 9, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 28, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  6. ^ "Eagle Ridge pool transformed for filming". Tri City News. September 16, 2011. Archived from the original on May 16, 2014. Retrieved May 16, 2014. The pool was recently transformed into a country club one for scenes being filmed for the film. It was closed for the last week of summer vacation.
  7. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid filmed in Coquitlam". The NOW: Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra. September 14, 2011. p. 13. Retrieved May 16, 2014. The name of the film that caused the closure was revealed as the third installment of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies is being filmed partially in Coquitlam.
  8. ^ "Coquitlam's Eagle Ridge Pool was recently transformed into a country club pool for scenes being filmed for the movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days". Flickr. October 1, 2011. p. 13. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
  9. ^ "Eagle Ridge Outdoor Pool". City of Coquitlam. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
  10. ^ "Filming in Steveston". Steveston Insider. October 10, 2011. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 16, 2014. - Meanwhile, at the beginning of September, it became a very active and inviting pool party, filled with beach balls, pool floats, and a snack shack as a location for the film.
  11. ^ "Film Industry Activities in Richmond - Steveston Area". Hansard, British Columbia Legislature. July 22, 2013. p. 814. Retrieved May 16, 2014. and it became the site of a pool party in the film.
  12. ^ "Steveston Outdoor Pool". City of Richmond. p. 814. Retrieved May 16, 2014..
  13. ^ a b Director's commentary from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days DVD.
  14. ^ "Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site". City of Richmond. Retrieved May 16, 2014....the last surviving Chinese Bunk Houses on the Pacific Northwest Coast.
  15. ^ "Recently Classified Trailers, Commercials and PSAs". AlbertaFilmRaings.ca. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
  16. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days". AdvanceScreenings.com. Retrieved June 27, 2012.
  17. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (August 2, 2012). "Those Slings and Arrows of Adolescence Sting". New York Times. Retrieved May 29, 2022.
  18. ^ "iTunes - Movies - Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days". iTunes. 3 August 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  19. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days -2012 Archives". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  20. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2023-05-03.
  21. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 29, 2022. Edit this at Wikidata
  22. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved May 29, 2022.
  23. ^ Serrao, Nivea (May 21, 2017). "Box office report: Alien: Covenant edges out Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for No.1 spot". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on April 12, 2022. Retrieved May 29, 2022. The film also received a more tepid response (a B on CinemasScore) than previous films, which have mostly gone over well with families, having earned a consistent A- on CinemaScore for the first three movies.
  24. ^ West, Abby (August 10, 2012). "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 29, 2022.
  25. ^ "'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' review: Summer of pre-teen social mayhem". Oregon Live. August 3, 2012. Retrieved May 29, 2022.
  26. ^ Mueller, Matt (August 4, 2012). ""Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" a dog indeed". OnMilwaukee. Retrieved May 29, 2022.
  27. ^ "Kids' Choice Awards 2013". Nick.com. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  28. ^ "34th Annual Young Artist Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  29. ^ a b c "Zachary Gordon Talks "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days"". ClevverTV. August 7, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  30. ^ a b Zachary Gordon & Robert Capron Interview - Diary of a Unwimpy Kid: Dog Days. HeyUGuysBlog. August 3, 2012.
  31. ^ a b Cavna, Michael (August 3, 2012). "Jeff Kinney on the challenges of his latest film, 'Dog Days'". The Washington Post.
  32. ^ Zachary Gordon Spreecast Live Stream Event [1/2]. Retrieved October 1, 2019 – via YouTube.
  33. ^ Jonas-Delson, Elise (November 21, 2011). "Q&A: Jeff Kinney". TimeForKids.com. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  34. ^ "Jeff Kinney". Rotten Tomatoes.
  35. ^ Polo, Susana (2020-12-10). "A Diary of a Wimpy Kid animated movie is coming to Disney Plus". Polygon. Retrieved 2020-12-13.

External links[edit]