Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (film)

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Dog Days movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Bowers
Produced by Nina Jacobson
Brad Simpson
Screenplay by Wallace Wolodarsky
Maya Forbes
Based on The Last Straw (uncredited) and Dog Days 
by Jeff Kinney
Starring Zachary Gordon
Devon Bostick
Steve Zahn
Peyton List
Robert Capron
Narrated by Zachary Gordon
Music by Edward Shearmur
Cinematography Anthony B. Richmond
Edited by Troy Takaki
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • August 3, 2012 (2012-08-03)
Running time
94 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $22 million[1]
Box office $77.1 million[2]

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 and final installment in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film series and is based on the third and fourth books in the series, The Last Straw and Dog Days.[3] The film was released on August 3, 2012. It is also Bowers' second live-action film. Although it's based on the third and fourth Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, there is a scene based on a part of the first book, where Greg's dad, Frank, is trying to unplug Greg's video game system, but doesn't know how to.[4]


When the Heffley family attends a pool party at the local pool to start off the summer, Greg (Zachary Gordon) is found playing Twisted Wizard 2 on his PSP, but then he is forced to get off of it and go into the overcrowded pool by his father, Frank (Steve Zahn). The family meets a former trouble-making friend of Rodrick (Devon Bostick) who is now a model student after attending a military school known as Spag Union, into which Frank thinks about joining Greg. Manny (Connor & Owen Fielding) calls Greg over to the baby pool, and after Greg comes over he laughs and says he is peeing. After Greg watches other toddlers urinating in the pool to his horror, he begins speaking to the audience about summer.

On the last day of school, when last period almost ends, Greg attempts to get his crush Holly Hills (Peyton List) to put her phone number in his yearbook in addition to signing it; however, she is forced to leave with Patty Farrell (Laine MacNeil) before she can write the last two digits. After school ends, everybody gets out of class turn the school hallway into complete madness. After Greg manages to make it out, he attempts to ask Holly to finish writing her phone number, but her mean spirited sister, Heather Hills (Melissa Roxburgh), comes along and forces Holly to leave with her before she can. Meanwhile, Rodrick, who is advertising his band at Greg's school, instantly becomes infatuated with Heather upon seeing her and attempts to make an impression on her, but in return, she runs over his foot with her car. Because Holly’s phone number is missing the last two digits, Rowley and Greg try to call her using every possible two-digit combination, but they give up after calling their gym teacher.

Once summer vacation starts, Greg’s mother Susan (Rachael Harris) starts a book club called "Reading Is Fun" in an attempt to get Greg and his friends into reading classics. Frank wants Greg to go outside and play, just like the other kids in the neighborhood, because he is jealous of his boss’s, Stan Warren (Phil Hayes), children being very athletic, while Greg, however, wants to stay home and play video games. So, Greg wakes up early to convince his dad that he will be active, and after his dad leaves, Greg starts to play his video games, but when his dad returns home and turns on the TV, he finds Greg’s video game, which Greg forgot to turn off, in progress. Frank, annoyed that Greg had lied to him and that Rodrick is lazy, bans his kids from playing video games or watching TV for the rest of the summer. However, Susan scolds Frank for taking everything that their kids like away from them and disappearing. She reminds Frank about how he is always upset that his father never spent enough time with him, and suggests him to be the father that he wished his father was and spend more time with his kids, much to Greg’s and Rodrick’s chagrin. His father begins to attempt doing activities with Greg; however, Greg keeps messing things up due to his clumsiness and his wimpy ways.

Sometime later, Greg's best friend, Rowley Jefferson (Robert Capron), takes Greg to the local country club, which Greg initially just uses to get away from Reading Is Fun but later takes a liking to after he likes the food that the club offers, which he thinks is free but really isn’t, the sparsely populated pool, and the fact that Holly teaches tennis there. While at the club, Greg manages to arrange a tennis match the next day between Rowley and him, and Holly and Patty, despite the fact that Rowley and he have never played real tennis. When Greg returns home, he finds out that Frank has offered to sign him up for an internship at his job without getting paid because he wants Greg to spend time with him. In order to escape it, save his summer vacation, and to be able to go to the country club every day, Greg hastily lies that he found himself a job at the country club. The next day at the tennis match, it becomes painfully obvious that Greg and Rowley have never played tennis, and Holly offers to teach Greg personally, much to Greg’s excitement.

At a party at Warrens, Frank finds out that they have a dog, which reminds him of a dog he had in his childhood. Stan suggests Frank get a dog for his family so his kids can learn about responsibility and companionship. Frank also meets his headmaster from his childhood days in the Wilderness Explorers (a parody of the Boy Scouts of America) and decides to sign up Greg into it to teach him responsibility after hearing it worked well with Stan's sons despite Frank having a bad experience in the Wilderness Explorers when he was young. While still at the party, Rodrick squeezes out the truth from Greg that he does not have a job, and tells Greg that he will not reveal Greg's secret to his parents if Greg will take Rodrick to the country club to see Heather. Greg reluctantly agrees, and Rodrick attempts to woo Heather, though his first attempt, which was to fake drowning in the pool so Heather could "rescue" him, ends horribly. Later that day, Frank gets the dog without asking the rest of his family, and although mildly annoyed at first, Susan lets it pass when she sees how happy Frank is (which is mostly because the dog from Frank’s childhood had apparently run away). Greg wants to name the dog Shredder or Ripjaw, but obviously Susan finds the names are too violent. Then, upon Manny’s suggestion, the family agrees to name the dog Sweetie, but Greg is not happy with the name because it sounds too feminine while the dog is a male. The dog eventually proves to be a handful burden.

Rowley invites Greg on a family trip to their beach house near the Boardwalk. Just before Greg leaves, his parents give him a starter cell phone called a "Ladybug," which only allows him to call home or 911. Greg sees that the house that they are staying at is far away from the boardwalk. The Jeffersons play a game of "I Love You Because." When Greg has to compliment Mr. Jefferson (Alf Humphreys), he has no idea what to say. When they visit the amusement park, Greg convinces Rowley to go on the Cranium Shaker, despite Rowley's conservative parents telling them to not go on scary rides and to meet them back in one hour. Rowley feels nervous since he had promised his parents, but gets on the ride with Greg anyway. However, when they get on the ride, it is not a pretty sight. At the end of the ride, Rowley's parents find out, and they tell Rowley that they were searching everywhere and they were about to call the police to report Greg and him missing. Rowley feels guilty when they tell him that they are disappointed in him. At home during bedtime, Greg hates the sleeping situation and attempts to email his mother asking her to help him leave while Mr. Jefferson uses the restroom, but he accidentally emails everyone on Mr. Jefferson's contact list. Panicking, the next morning, when Mr. Jefferson finds out about the email Greg sent and ends up with 949 emails, Greg tries to escape by calling his parents using his Ladybug, but when he pushes the home button the phone tells him that it cannot take his call. Saying that it belongs in a junkyard, he tinkers with the phone and accidentally presses the 911 button. The police arrive and almost arrest Mr. Jefferson for coming to the door with a knife in his hand (which he was using with a loaf of bread). Greg is then sent home early, and Frank starts to think that Rowley is a bad influence because Greg always gets into trouble around him.

Later, when Greg asks Rowley to take him again into the country club, Rowley lies and states he is not going there when his parents don’t allow him to bring Greg anymore. However, Greg still sneaks in, pretending to be a member of the Jefferson family. He even impersonates a golf tournament champion named Roland Gropper when there's a new receptionist. He attempts to make an impression on Holly by jumping off the high dive, but he slips and falls off with his trunks hanging off the diving board. He then feels dumbstruck after running into Holly in the pool without her noticing his missing trunks. Humiliated, he is forced to borrow a pair of pink trunks to get out of the pool and retrieve his own. After putting them back on, Greg meets with Holly and Heather, and manages to get Löded Diper a gig at Heather's sweet sixteen, much to Rodrick's delight. He meets Rowley, who tells him he had lied to protect Greg's feelings because his parents didn't want to invite Greg. Rowley and Greg quickly make up; however, one morning, Greg is finally exposed when Rowley's father becomes infuriated that Greg has built up a massive fruit smoothie bill for $260 and tells Frank, who then finds out Greg does not have a job and is forced to pay it himself. Much to Greg's horror, he and Rodrick intercept a promotional package DVD from Spag Union directed to his father, and Greg fears that he is going to be sent there.

Rodrick tells Greg about the "Wilderness Weekend," where he can attempt to impress his Dad while out on a camping trip with him on the Wilderness Explorers. Greg, fearing this may be his last chance to impress his Dad, goes there. However, their troop proves to be weak compared to Troop 42, led by Stan, who pitch their tents where Greg's troop was about to stay, forcing them to put their tents next to the bathroom. Greg and his friends overhear Stan and his sons insulting Greg's father and plan to set up a trap for revenge by putting a nest of ants in their sleeping bags and a sticky, honey-coated net. The net succeeds, but Greg barely escapes Stan while getting the ants off his hand. However, Stan inadvertently throws his expensive tent into the campfire, and Greg discovers that Troop 42 has not been camping properly but living off of excessive conveniences such as a store-bought s'mores maker, pre-made meals, and a portable TV. When Greg steps up and takes the blame, defended by his 3 loyal friends, Frank is impressed and finds out about Troop 42's electronic convenience. Frank angrily confronts Stan as a phony, and Stan falls into the honey coated net that Greg, Rowley, Fregley (Grayson Russell), and Chirag (Karan Brar) made. As a result, Stan is chased by bees and a bear. Frank later takes Greg to a hotel and reveals he never liked camping. He tells Greg that he will not send him to Spag Union and that he is proud of him, as he stood up to him in front of Stan. Frank tells Greg that his grandfather taught him that a person who never made a mistake never did anything.

At Heather Hills's Sweet 16th birthday party a few days later, Löded Diper performs a rock version of Justin Bieber's "Baby" during an attempt to win over Heather. However, things take a turn for the worse. Rodrick doesn't pay attention to what he is doing and he knocks over an ice sculpture of Heather. Heather loses her temper and smashes a chocolate fountain which splashes all over Heather, Rodrick, and Heather's friend, Madison, and the party ends in disaster. Greg apologizes to Holly; however, she states she is happy as she felt that her mean-spirited sister deserved it. Then, Holly holds Greg's hand, implying that she likes him. The film ends with Greg narrating that even though he and his father don't see eye to eye; however, there is a few things that they have in common. Finally, Greg, Rowley, and Holly are seen swimming at the community pool with Greg's family eating hot dogs enjoying the rest of the summer.



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 Eagle Ridge Outdoor pool in Coquitlam, BC. Filming at Eagle Ridge Outdoor pool took place during the end of August 2011.[6][7][8][9] The municipal outdoor pool scenes at the beginning and the end of the movie were filmed at Steveston Outdoor pool in Richmond, BC. Filming occurred at the Steveston Outdoor pool during the beginning of September 2011.[10][11][12] The Chinese Bunkhouse at the Steveston Shipyards in Richmond, BC 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] 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]

Critical reception[edit]

The film has received mixed reviews. It holds 51% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the general consensus stating "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."[17] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 54/100, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[18] 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."[19]


Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2013 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Nominated [20]
Favorite Movie Actor Zachary Gordon Nominated
2013 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor Zachary Gordon Nominated [21]
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

Home media[edit]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days was released on iTunes on December 4, 2012.[22] It was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United States on December 18, 2012.[23]

It was released on Redbox on January 15, 2013.[24]

Future adaptations[edit]

Dog Days has been described as the last live-action film in the franchise.[25][26] 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 film, but did not dismiss the possibility entirely.[25][26][27] 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!"[27] 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."[25] In March 2013, Zachary Gordon stated in a Spreecast live stream that there would not be a fourth live-action film.

Jeff Kinney has 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 film, 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".[28]


  1. ^ Kaufman, Amy (2012-08-02). "'Total Recall' will fight 'Dark Knight Rises' for No. 1". latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-10-19. 
  2. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Third "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" movie starts filming". All Headline News. August 20, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days". ComingSoon.net. CraveOnline. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Film List" (PDF). British Columbia Film Commission. August 9, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Eagle Ridge pool transformed for filming". Tri City News. Sep 16, 2011. Retrieved May 16, 2014.  - 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...the pool 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 of Eagle Ridge Pool has been revealed: 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. Retrieved May 16, 2014.  - Meanwhile, at the beginning of September, Steveston Pool became a very active and inviting pool party, filled with beach balls, pool floats and a snack shack, as a location for Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3.
  11. ^ "Film Industry Activities in Richmond - Steveston Area". Hansard, British Columbia Legislature. July 22, 2013. p. 814. Retrieved May 16, 2014.  - ...and Steveston Outdoor Pool became the site of a pool party in Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3.
  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. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-01-28. 
  18. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-10-19. 
  19. ^ Abby West (2012-08-10). "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days review". EW.com. Retrieved 2012-10-19. 
  20. ^ "Kids' Choice Awards 2013". Nick.com. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  21. ^ "34th Annual Young Artist Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  22. ^ "iTunes - Movies - Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days". iTunes. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  23. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012)". Amazon.com. Retrieved December 4, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days". redbox.com. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  25. ^ a b c "Zachary Gordon Talks "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days"". ClevverTV. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  26. ^ a b "Zachary Gordon & Robert Capron Interview - Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days". HeyUGuysBlog. 3 August 2012. 
  27. ^ a b Michael Cavna (3 August 2012). "Jeff Kinney on the challenges of his latest film, 'Dog Days'". The Washington Post. 
  28. ^ Elise Jonas-Delson (21 November 2011). "Q&A: Jeff Kinney". TimeForKids.com. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 

External links[edit]