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 byDavid Bowers
Produced byNina Jacobson
Brad Simpson
Screenplay byWallace Wolodarsky
Maya Forbes
Based onDiary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
by Jeff Kinney
Music byEdward Shearmur
CinematographyAnthony B. Richmond
Edited byTroy Takaki
Distributed by20th Century Fox[1]
Release date
  • August 3, 2012 (2012-08-03)
Running time
94 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$22 million[2]
Box office$77.1 million[3]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is a 2012 American live-action/animated 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, and is a combination of elements from the third and fourth books in the series, but draws mostly from the fourth book.[4] The film was released on August 3, 2012, by 20th Century Fox. The film also received mixed reviews and earned $77.1 million on a $22 million budget.

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 subsequent films in the series, starting with Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, which was released five years later.


The Heffley family attends a pool party at the crowded local pool, where the family meets a former trouble-making friend of Rodrick (Devon Bostick) who is now a model student after attending a military school for boys going in the eighth grade known as Spag Union. With Greg (Zachary Gordon) going in the eighth grade, Greg's dad, Frank (Steve Zahn) thinks about enrolling Greg there. Greg's summer starts off badly: his father bans Greg from playing video games in anger at Greg's laziness and also bans Greg from watching TV after Rodrick laughs at Greg, and his mother Susan (Rachael Harris) starts a book club for Greg's friends and classmates, but she does not see their books as real literature and forces them to read classic books, which Greg sees as boring. Frank is also jealous of their neighbor's athletic kids, and after his video game ban, Susan forces Frank and Greg to bond with each other; their bonding activities end in disaster.

A few weeks later, Greg's best friend, Rowley Jefferson (Robert Capron), takes Greg to the local country club, where Greg enjoys the lifestyle and the fact that his crush, Holly Hills (Peyton List), teaches tennis there. Greg returns home to learn that Frank signed him up for an unpaid summer internship at his office without his consent, and Greg lies about already having a job at the country club. Frank and Susan are delighted, and later give Greg a starter cell phone, called a "Ladybug", which only allows him to call home or 911. Rowley invites Greg on a family trip they are taking to a rented beach house near the boardwalk, but Greg finds the trip boring and attempts to escape. He tries to email Susan through Mr. Jefferson's (Alf Humphreys) laptop, but he accidentally sends the email to everyone on Mr. Jefferson's contact list. The next morning, Greg tries to call home using his Ladybug phone, but the phone rejects the call. Greg inadvertently calls 911 and shortly after, the police arrive. Greg is eventually sent home.

Rowley doesn't allow Greg to go with him to the country club because of the beach house incident, but Greg sneaks in by impersonating several members, including Rowley. He meets with Holly and her sister Heather (Melissa Roxburgh) and manages to get Löded Diper a gig at her sweet sixteen party, much to Rodrick's delight due to Rodrick's crush on Heather. Greg and Rowley reconcile, but when Frank drops Greg off one morning, they both get confronted by Rowley's father because Greg has built up a $260 fruit smoothie bill from his time at the country club, not knowing the food costs money. When Frank attempts to explain the situation, the manager informs him that the club does not employ minors, and Greg is exposed. As a result, he receives a Spag Union disc in the mail, and fears he will be sent there.

Rodrick informs Greg that the "Wilderness Weekend" could be a way to avoid Spag Union. Their troop proves weak compared to Frank's boss, Stan's (Phil Hayes), troop and Greg continues to mess things up. After the boys overhear Stan and his troop insulting Frank, Greg attempts to set up a plan for revenge by using a trap, and finds out that Stan's troop has been using modern conveniences including pre-cooked meals and portable TVs rather than actually camping. Stan arrives at the tent and attacks Greg, mistaking him for a raccoon, and Greg accidentally throws the tent into the campfire, then admits he was responsible when Frank shows up to investigate the commotion. Frank, having lost his respect for Stan as he insults Greg, confronts Stan about the electronic conveniences, and Stan runs into Greg's trap, leaving him humiliated. Frank reveals that he never liked camping anyway, and decides not to send Greg to Spag Union, much to Greg's surprise and delight. Frank gives Greg advice about learning from mistakes and taking responsibilities. The two discover they are more alike than they realize.

At Heather's sweet sixteen birthday party a few days later, Löded Diper performs a hard rock cover of the Justin Bieber/Ludacris hit song "Baby", with Rodrick on lead vocals in an attempt to impress Heather. However, Rodrick accidentally knocks over a huge ice bust of Heather, which results in her losing her temper and attempting to assault Rodrick with a microphone stand, only for her to smash a chocolate fountain, splashing chocolate all over herself, Rodrick, and her friend Madison, and the party ends in disaster. Holly then implies that she likes Greg by holding his hand, and in the final scene, Greg, Rowley, and Holly hang out together at the town pool. Greg remarks that while his summer may have not gone the way he expected, 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
  • Alf Humphreys as Mr. Jefferson, Rowley's father who dislikes Greg
  • 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 girl
  • Elise Gatien as Madison, Heather's best friend

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


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] 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.[15] An advance screening for the film was held on July 31, 2012.[16]

Critical reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, the film has an approval rating of 53% based on 74 reviews and an average rating of 5.51/10. 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."[17] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 54 out of 100 based on 22 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[18] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[19]

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."[20] 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."[21]

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."[22]


Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2013 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Nominated [23]
Favorite Movie Actor Zachary Gordon Nominated
2013 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor Zachary Gordon Nominated [24]
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.[25] It was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United States on December 18, 2012.[26]

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.[27][28] 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.[27][28][29] 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!"[29]

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."[27] In March 2013, Zachary Gordon stated in a Spreecast live stream that there would not be a fourth live-action film.[30] 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.[31] The film was released on May 19, 2017, to a modest box-office success despite hitting a critical low for the franchise.


  1. ^ a b c "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  2. ^ Kaufman, Amy (August 2, 2012). "'Total Recall' will fight 'Dark Knight Rises' for No. 1". latimes.com. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  3. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  4. ^ "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.
  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. - 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. 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.
  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 May 10, 2020.
  18. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  19. ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com. Archived from the original on September 16, 2017.
  20. ^ Abby West (August 10, 2012). "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days review". EW.com. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  21. ^ "'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' review: Summer of pre-teen social mayhem". OregonLive.com. June 3, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  22. ^ Matt Mueller (June 3, 2012). ""Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" a dog indeed". OnMilwaukee. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  23. ^ "Kids' Choice Awards 2013". Nick.com. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  24. ^ "34th Annual Young Artist Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  25. ^ "iTunes - Movies - Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days". iTunes. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  26. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days -2012 Archives". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  27. ^ a b c "Zachary Gordon Talks "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days"". ClevverTV. August 7, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  28. ^ a b "Zachary Gordon & Robert Capron Interview - Diary of a Unwimpy Kid: Dog Days". HeyUGuysBlog. August 3, 2012.
  29. ^ a b Michael Cavna (August 3, 2012). "Jeff Kinney on the challenges of his latest film, 'Dog Days'". The Washington Post.
  30. ^ Zachary Gordon Spreecast Live Stream Event [1/2], retrieved October 1, 2019
  31. ^ Elise Jonas-Delson (November 21, 2011). "Q&A: Jeff Kinney". TimeForKids.com. Retrieved December 30, 2012.

External links[edit]