Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (film)

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid Bowers
Screenplay by
Based on
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
93 minutes[2]
CountryUnited 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 (originally intended final) installment in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film series.[5] 20th Century Fox released the film on August 3, and it earned $77.1 million on a $22 million budget.

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.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is also the last film 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.


Months after the events of the previous film, the Heffleys go to the crowded local pool, where they run into Lenwood Heath, a former delinquent who has since reformed after attending 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.

Greg's summer gets off to a rocky start: after learning that Greg spent his entire first day playing video games, Frank disables the family's television set. Meanwhile, Susan starts a Book Club for Greg and his friends, but forces them to read classics. Susan urges Frank to spend more time with Greg. Frank takes him to go fishing and to a Civil War reenactment, but Greg constantly messes up to Frank's frustration.

A few weeks later, Rowley invites Greg to the local country club. Initially reluctant, Greg decides to continue joining 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 that he and Greg can bond. Disliking the idea, Greg lies about getting a job at the country club, to his parents' delight. The family later gets a dog, which Manny names Sweetie, and Greg’s parents give him a starter cell phone, a "Ladybug", which only allows him to call home or 911.

Rowley invites Greg on a family trip to a rented beach house near the boardwalk, and the two go on a ride called the Cranium Shaker that Rodrick suggested. Greg becomes increasingly uneasy with the Jeffersons' eccentric lifestyle and secretly uses Rowley's father Robert's computer to email Susan to get himself out of the trip. The Jeffersons confront Greg after he accidentally sent the email to everyone on Robert's contact list. Greg desperately tries to call home using his Ladybug phone, but inadvertently calls the police. The Jeffersons resolve things with the cops and angrily send Greg home.

A few days later, Rowley informs Greg he's no longer allowed to invite him to the country club, but Greg sneaks in by impersonating club members. After Rodrick learns that his crush, Holly's sister Heather Hills, is also a member, he asks Greg to help him sneak in as well. Greg reconciles with Rowley and gets Löded Diper a gig for Heather's sweet sixteen, to Rodrick's delight. One morning at the country club, 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" at the country club, but the manager denies this. Learning the truth of Greg's deception, Frank confesses his disappointment with his son. Shortly after, Rodrick reveals to Greg that a Spag Union disc has been mailed to them, to the latter's horror.

Rodrick urges Greg to go on the "Wilderness Weekend" outing with his school classmates to impress Frank. During the trip, Fregley tells a scary story about a "Muddy Hand". After mistaking Frank's hand for the Muddy Hand and hitting it with a mallet, Greg admits his guilt over constantly messing up. The next day, after overhearing Frank's boss Stan Warren insult Frank over his lack of camping skills, Greg sets a trap with his friends and sneaks into Warren's tent, where he learns that their troop has been cheating by using household appliances. Warren discovers Greg and insults him, but Frank chastises Warren for faking his camping skills. Warren then runs into Greg's trap, humiliating himself. At a motel, Frank confesses he never liked camping at all and decides not to send Greg to Spag Union, to Greg's 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 Heather. The performance goes awry when he accidentally knocks over a huge ice bust of Heather, causing her to try and assault him with a microphone stand, only for her to smash a chocolate fountain, ending the party in disaster. Holly holds Greg's hand, and they both spend the rest of their summer together with Rowley. Greg remarks that he may look back on it as the best summer ever.


  • Zachary Gordon as Greg Heffley
  • 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 love interest and eventual girlfriend
  • Grayson Russell as Fregley, a weird classmate 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 love interest. Roxburgh previously played Rachel Lewis, one of the girls at Rodrick's party in the second film
  • Connor/Owen Fielding as Manny Heffley, Greg's younger brother
  • Alfred E. Humphreys as Mr. 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 Heffley's father-in-law, Frank's father and Greg, Rodrick and Manny's paternal grandfather
  • Oliver the Dog as Sweetie, the Heffleys’ pet dog
  • Philip Maurice Hayes as Stan Warren, Frank's boss
  • Dalila Bela as Taylor Pringle, a rude and unforgiving little girl
  • Elise Gatien as Madison, Heather's best friend

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


Principal photography began on August 8, 2011, in Vancouver and was completed on October 7, 2011.[6] 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.[7][8][9][10] 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.[11][12][13] The Chinese Bunkhouse at the Steveston Shipyards in Richmond, BC was the location of the Wilderness Explorers cabin for Troop 133.[14][15] During filming, stars Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron, were seen riding the Corkscrew at Playland at Vancouver's fair, the PNE.[14] Capron had to wear a wig for this movie, 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.[16] An advance screening for the film was held on July 31, 2012.[17]

Critical reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, the film has an approval rating of 52% based on 75 reviews and an average rating of 5.50/10. The site's critical 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."[18] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 54 out of 100 based on 22 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[19] 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.[20]

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."[21] 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."[22]

Matt Mueller of OnMilwaukee gave the movie a negative review, calling it "manic, forced, predictable, scatterbrained and often times unpleasant." Mueller criticized the movie's "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." Mueller disliked Greg's behavior, writing "He's lazy and wildly selfish, taking advantage of his friend's unbridled kindness. His trip with Rowley's family ends with Greg insulting the entire clan and getting the dad arrested by the police. Later in the film, he runs up the family's 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."[23]


Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2013 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Nominated [24]
Favorite Movie Actor Zachary Gordon Nominated
2013 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor Zachary Gordon Nominated [25]
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.[26] It was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United States on December 18, 2012.[27]

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



At the time of its release, Dog Days was described as the last live-action film in the franchise.[28][29] 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.[28][29][30] 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!"[30]

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."[28] In March 2013, Zachary Gordon stated in a Spreecast live stream that there would not be a fourth live-action film.[31] 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."

On July 29, 2016, it was announced that a new movie with a different cast based on the 9th book, The Long Haul, had begun production.[32] The film was released on May 19, 2017, to a modest box-office success despite hitting a critical low for the franchise.

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.[33] 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 July 23, 2017.
  3. ^ Kaufman, Amy (August 2, 2012). "'Total Recall' will fight 'Dark Knight Rises' for No. 1". latimes.com. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  4. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  5. ^ "Third "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" movie starts filming". All Headline News. August 20, 2011. Archived from the original on August 13, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
  6. ^ "Film List" (PDF). British Columbia Film Commission. August 9, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 28, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  7. ^ "Eagle Ridge pool transformed for filming". Tri City News. September 16, 2011. Archived from the original on May 16, 2014. 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 ...
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "Eagle Ridge Outdoor Pool". City of Coquitlam. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
  11. ^ "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, 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.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "Steveston Outdoor Pool". City of Richmond. p. 814. Retrieved May 16, 2014..
  14. ^ a b Director's commentary from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days DVD.
  15. ^ "Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site". City of Richmond. Retrieved May 16, 2014. - ...the last surviving Chinese Bunk Houses on the Pacific Northwest Coast.
  16. ^ "Recently Classified Trailers, Commercials and PSAs". AlbertaFilmRaings.ca. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
  17. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days". AdvanceScreenings.com. Retrieved June 27, 2012.
  18. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  19. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  20. ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com. Archived from the original on September 16, 2017.
  21. ^ Abby West (August 10, 2012). "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days review". EW.com. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  22. ^ "'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' review: Summer of pre-teen social mayhem". OregonLive.com. June 3, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  23. ^ Matt Mueller (June 3, 2012). ""Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" a dog indeed". OnMilwaukee. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  24. ^ "Kids' Choice Awards 2013". Nick.com. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  25. ^ "34th Annual Young Artist Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  26. ^ "iTunes - Movies - Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days". iTunes. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  27. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days -2012 Archives". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  28. ^ a b c "Zachary Gordon Talks "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days"". ClevverTV. August 7, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  29. ^ a b "Zachary Gordon & Robert Capron Interview - Diary of a Unwimpy Kid: Dog Days". HeyUGuysBlog. August 3, 2012.
  30. ^ a b Michael Cavna (August 3, 2012). "Jeff Kinney on the challenges of his latest film, 'Dog Days'". The Washington Post.
  31. ^ Zachary Gordon Spreecast Live Stream Event [1/2], retrieved October 1, 2019
  32. ^ Elise Jonas-Delson (November 21, 2011). "Q&A: Jeff Kinney". TimeForKids.com. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  33. ^ 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]