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
Screenplay by
Based on Diary of a Wimpy Kid
by Jeff Kinney
Narrated by Zachary Gordon
Music by Theodore Shapiro
Cinematography Jack N. Green
Edited by Wendy Greene Bricmont
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • March 19, 2010 (2010-03-19)
Running time
94 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, 2012's Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days and the upcoming Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.[6] The film earned $75.7 million on a $15 million budget. It is the only film in the series to be directed by Thor Freudenthal, who was replaced by David Bowers for the rest of the installments. The film was theatrically released on March 19, 2010 in the United States by 20th Century Fox.


As a prank, Rodrick (Devon Bostick) wakes up Greg (Zachary Gordon) claiming that it was time for school. It is found that Rodrick tricked Greg and the title sequence begins.The first day of Greg Heffley's middle school ends negatively; in the gym, he plays Gladiator with other wimps, he learns about the Cheese Touch which is a rotten piece of cheese on the basketball court that one day Darren Walsh touched and the Cheese Touch begins. It all ends when Dieter Muller takes the Cheese Touch with him, discovers the ups and downs to the school, such as no stall doors in the boys' bathroom, and Greg and his best friend Rowley Jefferson (Robert Capron) eat on the floor. This is also when Greg meets Angie (Chloe Grace Moretz), a girl who isolates herself from the other girls to survive. At the end of the day, Rowley unintentionally embarrasses both boys by asking Greg if he wants to come over and " play ". Greg looks through Rodrick's yearbook at home and Rodrick catches them, intending to "kill" Greg. The next day, Greg signs up for wrestling to become extremely popular, which results in two humiliating defeats joining the wrestling team by a weird, low popular kid named Fregley (Grayson Russell) and his arch-enemy Patty Farrell (Laine MacNeil). On Halloween, the two boys encounter teenagers while trick or treating, and they are drenched with water. Rowley's shield (part of his Halloween costume) blocks assumed 95% of the water. Nevertheless, Greg says he will call the cops. This causes the teenagers to chase them to his Grandma's house. The teens further chase them to the Devil Worshipper Woods, which Rodrick warned them about before the duo left to trick or treat. Some time later on, Greg makes it an effort to make Rowley popular by changing his style of clothing and looks, and how he wears a backpack.

The boys join Safety Patrol in an effort to become popular, and they try out for a contest that offers a student a chance to become the new cartoonist for the school paper. Rowley fractures his arm during winter due to a game the boys played, and Rowley gets extremely popular, and wins the contest, causing Greg to become more jealous. At Safety Patrol, Rowley is unable to serve due to his injury; and Greg serves by himself but discovers a truck identical to the teenagers' from Halloween. In a panic, he hides the kids in a construction zone and the neighbor spots Greg, mistaking him as Rowley due to the coat Greg's wearing; and the truck belongs to someone else. Rowley is soon banned inadvertently, but Greg decides to expose himself; causing an argument between them, in which Rowley accuses Greg of being a selfish terrible friend for not exposing himself sooner, hating Rowley's comic, mocking his favorite pop star Joshie, and breaking his hand and didn't act like he was sorry, then Rowley states they aren't friends anymore. One of the kindergartners told the whole story, further parting Greg and Rowley, Rowley makes friends with Collin who replaces Greg as Rowley's new best friend. Greg decides to pursue popularity without Rowley by joining the school play. At tryouts, Greg uses a wonderful soprano, prompting the music teacher to cast him as Dorothy; however, Patty threatens the teacher into casting her as Dorothy. Chirag, (Karan Brar) tells him he could sign up as a tree to bean Patty with apples. During rehearsal, Greg is told he doesn't throw apples and sings instead. He doesn't sing due to Rodrick videotaping him, and Greg throws apples at Patty; causing the play to end. Getting upset about the circumstances the year has become for Greg, he gets his brother Rodrick grounded, but fails to reconcile with Rowley.

One day at school, Rowley and Greg confront each other, and catches attention to the rest of the school. Patty and the kids force Greg and Rowley to fight each other; however, neither of them are good at fighting. The Halloween teenagers arrive at the scene and force the school to flee, but catch Rowley and Greg. They force Rowley to eat the cheese, giving him the Cheese Touch; but as Greg is about to eat it, the gym teacher and the school comes out and forces them to flee. Greg with a change of heart covers up for Rowley by saying he ate the Cheese, which mends their friendship. However, the school then thinks that Greg has the Cheese Touch.

Yearbooks eventually come, Patty touches Rowley, unaware she now has the Cheese Touch. Greg's popularity didn't succeed the way he planned, but that he and Rowley had some sort of representation; as they make the Class Favorites page as "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.[7] A poster for the film was released shortly after. Another trailer was shown with Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.[8]

The official Facebook account for Wimpy Kid had uploaded three clips from the film, as of March 1, 2010.[9] In the United Kingdom and Ireland the film was released in cinemas on August 25, 2010.


The soundtrack was released by La La Land Records with special thanks to the records labels of the featured artists; Universal Motown Records, Capitol Records, B-Unique Records, Columbia Records, XL Recordings, Rough Trade, Beautiful Bomb Records, Chrysalis Records, Stick Music, and Gordy Records.[10]

  1. "Ride" – The Vines
  2. "Never Miss a Beat" – Kaiser Chiefs
  3. "The Four Seasons" – Antonio Vivaldi
  4. "More Than I Can Do" (Instrumental Version) – Scott Kinney
  5. "Super Freak" – Rick James
  6. "When They Fight, They Fight" – Generationals
  7. "Hot" – Smash Mouth
  8. "Danger! High Voltage" – Electric Six
  9. "Cobrastyle" – Teddybears
  10. "O.K. Mr Hillbilly" – Ron Henley
  11. "You're Supposed to Be My Friend" – 1990s
  12. "Total Eclipse of the Heart" – Jim Steinman
  13. "We Three Trees" – L.J. Benet
  14. "Time to Die" – Ali Dee Theodore and Joey Katsaros
  15. "Le Freak" – Chic
  16. "The Popular Thing" – Jukebox the Ghost
  17. "Intergalactic" – Beastie Boys
  18. "What Do You Want from Me" – Forever the Sickest Kids
  19. "Tear It Up" – White Demons
  20. "Up Rock" (Slow Version) – Ali Dee Theodore and The Deekompressors
  21. "Live to Rock" – 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.[11][12]

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]

Review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, based on 101 reviews, gives the film an approval 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."[13] It also holds a "mixed or average" rating of 56 at Metacritic, based on 26 reviews.[14] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[15]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."[16] 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."[17] 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."[18]

Box office[edit]

The film opened in second place at the weekend box office grossing $22.1 million, behind Alice in Wonderland.[19]

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.[19] The film grossed $63,003,625 in North America and $11,695,602 in other territories for a worldwide total of $75,699,227.[20]


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 [21]
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


Two sequels were released in 2011 and 2012 respectively and a fourth theatrical film will be released in 2017. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules was released on March 25, 2011. It was based on the second book in the series, Rodrick Rules. Zachary Gordon reprised his role in the film. The film received a 47% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days was released in August 3, 2012 and is based on The Last Straw and Dog Days while including a scene from the premiere book, where Greg's dad tries to unplug Greg's video game console. A film based on The Long Haul will be released in May 2017.


  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. ^ http://www.people.com/article/diary-of-wimpy-kids-new-lead-actors
  7. ^ "Diary of A Wimpy Kid Theatrical Trailer". 
  8. ^ Official Wimpy Kid Movie on Facebook (January 2010). "Wimpy Kid Movie Poster". 
  9. ^ Official Wimpy Kid Movie on Facebook (January 2010). "Facebook | Official Wimpy Kid Movie". 
  10. ^ imdb (January 2010). "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)Soundtracks". 
  11. ^ "Jeff Kinney to make The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary". 
  12. ^ The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary, Book Details
  13. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  15. ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com. [permanent dead link]
  16. ^ Ebert, Roger (March 17, 2010). "Diary of a Wimpy Kid review". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on November 14, 2010. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. 
  18. ^ David Stratton, Margaret Pomeranz (September 29, 2010). "29 September 2010". At the Movies. September 29, 2010. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 
  19. ^ a b "Weekend Report: 'Alice' Tops Again, 'Diary', 'Bounty' Neck-and-Neck". Box Office Mojo. March 22, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  21. ^ "32nd Annual Young Artist Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 

External links[edit]