Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Long Haul film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid Bowers
Screenplay by
Based onDiary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, Old School, Hard Luck and The Third Wheel
by Jeff Kinney
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyAnthony B. Richmond
Edited byTroy Takaki
Music byEdward Shearmur
Production
companies
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • May 19, 2017 (2017-05-19)
Running time
91 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$22 million[4]
Box office$40.1 million[3]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is a 2017 American road comedy film written and directed by David Bowers and co-written by the books' author Jeff Kinney. It serves as a standalone sequel to 2012's Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, the fourth installment in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film series and the final live-action film in the franchise. It was based on the ninth book The Long Haul, with elements of the seventh, eighth, and tenth books in the series. It is also the only live-action installment in the series not to feature the cast members from the first three films as they outgrew their roles.[5] It instead features a completely different cast (which includes Jason Drucker, Alicia Silverstone, Tom Everett Scott, Charlie Wright, and Owen Asztalos), and the plot follows the Heffleys as they go on a road trip to Meemaw's 90th birthday party, without realizing the various calamities that will occur along the way.

After the release of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days in 2012, the film was described as the last live-action one in the franchise, with the original cast and crew indicating that were no plans for a fourth film. By 2016, a live-action adaptation of the ninth book, The Long Haul, was in development, with the aforementioned new cast.

The Long Haul received negative reviews from critics and fans alike, and critics surveyed by Rotten Tomatoes called it "largely unfunny".[6] The film was also a box office disappointment, only grossing $40 million worldwide against a $22 million budget.[7]

The film would later be the last one in the series to be produced by 20th Century Fox before the studio was acquired by Disney in 2019 and the last one before the series was rebooted into animated films, starting with the 2021 Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie on Disney+.

Plot

Dining out at Corny's, Susan announces the family plan for a road trip to attend her grandmother's 90th birthday party, much to Rodrick and Greg's dismay. Greg is then sent to rescue Manny from inside a tube in the play area. He ends up in the ball pit with a diaper stuck to his hand and freaking out while searching for Manny. He subsequently becomes famous when the footage is posted on the Internet, becoming an embarrassing meme called "Diaper Hands".

Later, Greg learns that the Player Expo is taking place not far from Meemaw's house in Indianapolis. His favorite Internet star, Mac Digby, will be attending so he plans to sneak off from the road trip and secretly go to the Player Expo. As soon as they start, everyone's phones are immediately confiscated by Susan, so the road trip is "absolutely technology-free".

That night, at a motel, Greg secretly gets his phone from the car. Later, while he and Rodrick are relaxing in the hot tub, Rodrick uncovers his plans to go to the Player Expo. Later that night, he investigates a loud noise: a couple of kids repeatedly slamming a wheeled cart into a wall, belonging to a family which he dubs "the Beardos" due to their father's beard. Scolding them for making a racket, he threatens to have them thrown out. Their father comes out, and nearly gets hit by the cart his daughter rolls at Greg, but it misses him and damages their van. She blames Greg, telling her father that he also called him a "Fat Beardo," causing Mr. Beardo to plot revenge.

On the road, Manny wins a piglet at a fair. Mr. Beardo, who is also there with his family, sees Greg and pursues him. The next day, a work call and the piglet's craziness lead to the Heffleys nearly crashing their car on a bridge, and they donate the piglet to a petting zoo much to Manny's dismay while Greg reroutes the GPS to the Player Expo. In the hotel room, Rodrick and Greg leave a note telling Frank and Susan that they are buying a gift for Meemaw, but they sneak out to Player Expo. Thinking they are missing, Susan calls the police but gets them herself after seeing them on TV.

Seeing Mac Digby in a video game competition, Greg asks Rodrick to record him on the stage behind him, but he accidentally knocks out the power to Mac's screen. Susan arrives and accidentally reveals to Mac that Greg is Diaper Hands, humiliating him in the process. She opens up saying all she wanted was a nice road trip to bring them closer together, and accuses him of not caring. Back on the road, the tarp on their motorboat blows open and their belongings fly out. The Beardos then show up and begin stealing them as "payback." The Heffleys chase after the Beardos, but get stuck in a traffic jam, which they get out of by taking a back road. They come across the Beardos' van at another motel, steal their belongings back, and manage to reach Meemaw's birthday celebration with Greg in the boat with it detached to the car. After the party, the car is still broken, though a tow truck driver stops by, but he only speaks Spanish, though Manny is able to communicate due to a CD they heard earlier in the trip. He guides them to the petting zoo and he retrieves the piglet. In Greg's ending monologue, Frank gets time off from work to spend with his family, and Rodrick gets money to repair his van. While the trip was far hardly perfect, it was eventful and he's excited for next year. Susan steps in to say they will be flying. In a mid-credits scene, two girls take selfies with Greg, who they recognize as "diaper hands".

Cast

Main article: List of Diary of a Wimpy Kid characters

The series' author, Jeff Kinney, makes his third cameo role, this time as a booth owner at the Player Expo.

Production

In 2012, the series' third entry, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days was described as the last live action film in the franchise.[8][9] That same year in August, while doing press for the film, author Jeff Kinney and actors Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron each indicated that there were no plans for a fourth movie, but did not dismiss the possibility entirely.[8][9][10]

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!"[10] 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."[8]

In March 2013, Gordon stated in a Spreecast live stream that there would not be a fourth live action film.[11] Previously, Kinney had indicated that instead of making a live action film, he would like to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever adapted into an animated film, stating in an interview, "I hope that it gets made into an animated movie. But I'd really like to see it turn into an animated television special."

In 2016, it was announced that a live-action film adaptation of the ninth book The Long Haul was in development, and would be featuring a completely new cast playing the Heffleys.

Release

Theatrical

The film was released on May 17, 2017, in the Philippines, two days later on May 19 in the United States, and on May 26 in the United Kingdom.[5]

Home media

The film was released on Digital HD from Amazon Video and iTunes on August 1, 2017, and on Blu-ray and DVD on August 8, 2017, by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.[12][13] It grossed $2.6 million in home video sales.[14]

Reception

Box office

The film grossed $20.7 million in the United States and Canada and $19.3 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $40.1 million, against a production budget of $22 million.[3] It was the lowest-grossing film of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by a wide margin.[15]

In North America, the film was initially projected to gross around $12 million from 3,129 theaters during its opening weekend.[4] However, after grossing $2 million on its first day, projections were lowered to $7 million. It ended up finishing with $7.1 million, placing 6th at the box office and marking the lowest opening of the franchise by a wide margin.[16]

When the film was released in the United Kingdom, it opened at #2, behind Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales with £1,444,092.[17] The film was a box office bomb, grossing just $40.1 million worldwide.

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 17% based on 72 reviews and an average rating of 4.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "With an all-new cast but the same juvenile humor, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul finds the franchise still stuck in arrested – and largely unfunny – development."[6] On Metacritic, it has a score of 39 out of 100 based on 16 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[18] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave it an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, down from the first three films' "A−".[19]

Dennis Harvey of Variety was more positive, calling the film "an amiable, fast-paced entry that should win over fans."[20] Jesse Hassenger of The A.V. Club called the film "repetitive and uninspired".[21] Christy Lemire of RogerEbert.com criticized it, saying it "Jettisons everything that’s honest and worthwhile about the books in favor of hackneyed misadventures and gross-out scatological humor."[22] Jody Mitori of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch gave The Long Haul two stars out of four and commented on its increase of gross-out humor compared to the book version and previous films.[23] Linda Cook of The Quad City Times called it the worst film of the year so far.[24]

Reboot

Main article: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2021 film)

Following the release of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, the likelihood of a fourth live-action film was slim. In 2012, Jeff Kinney, the author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, had announced the possibility for an animated film to be based on Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever as the next installment.[25] In an interview for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck, Kinney stated he was working with Fox on a half-hour special based on Cabin Fever, which was to be aired in late 2014, but as of 2022, it never came into fruition.[26] In August 2018, CEO of 20th Century Fox Stacey Snider announced that a fully animated television series based on Diary of a Wimpy Kid was in development.[27] On August 6, 2019, after the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney, the project was confirmed to be still in development for the then-upcoming Disney+.[28]

In December 2020, the project was confirmed to have been redeveloped as an animated film titled Diary of a Wimpy Kid, with production already started and with a release year of 2021. On September 2, 2021, it was announced that the film would be released on December 3, 2021, confirmed to simply be titled Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and it would be a retelling of the first book in the series.[29] Swinton Scott was announced as director, and Kinney as producer and writer. Brady Noon, Ethan William Childress, and Chris Diamantopoulos were also announced to be part of the voice cast. Noon voiced Greg, Childress voiced Rowley, and Diamantopoulos voiced Greg’s father Frank. Erica Cerra, Hunter Dillon and Gracen Newton later joined the voice cast of the film. Cerra voiced Greg’s mother Susan, while Dillon and Newton voiced Greg’s brothers Rodrick and Manny.

References

  1. ^ a b Rechtshaffen, Michael (May 15, 2017). "'Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  2. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2017) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "'Alien: Covenant,' No. 8 in the franchise, is poised to unseat 'Guardians' at the box office". Los Angeles Times. May 16, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: new film confirmed for 2017". January 5, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  7. ^ "The 10 Biggest Box-Office Bombs of 2017 so Far". Business Insider. Retrieved July 21, 2022.
  8. ^ a b c "Zachary Gordon Talks "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days"". ClevverTV. August 7, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Zachary Gordon & Robert Capron Interview - Diary of a Unwimpy Kid: Dog Days". HeyUGuysBlog. August 3, 2012.
  10. ^ a b Michael Cavna (August 3, 2012). "Jeff Kinney on the challenges of his latest film, 'Dog Days'". The Washington Post.
  11. ^ "Zachary Gordon Spreecast Live Stream Event [1/2]" – via www.youtube.com.
  12. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul DVD Release Date August 8, 2017". DVDs Release Dates. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  13. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul Release Date, News & Reviews - Releases.com". releases.com. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  14. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2017) - Financial Information".
  15. ^ Brevet, Brad (September 20, 2017). "Disappointing August 2017 Closed Out the Worst Summer Movie Season in Over 10 Years". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  16. ^ "Why 'Alien: Covenant' Lost Its Bite At The B.O. With $36.1M Opening, -34% From 'Prometheus'". Deadline Hollywood. May 23, 2017.
  17. ^ "Weekend box office 26th May 2017 - 28th May 2017". 25thframe.co.uk. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  18. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  19. ^ Serrao, Nivea (May 21, 2017). "Box office report: Alien: Covenant edges out Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for No.1 spot". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  20. ^ Harvey, Dennis (May 15, 2017). "Film Review: 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul'". Variety.
  21. ^ Hassenger, Jesse (May 17, 2017). "The Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series makes it to number four, but it's a Long Haul". The A.V. Club.
  22. ^ Lemire, Christy (May 18, 2017). "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul Movie Review (2017)". RogerEbert.com.
  23. ^ Mitori, Jody (May 18, 2017). "Fourth 'Wimpy Kid' movie ratchets up the gross factor". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  24. ^ Cook, Linda (May 21, 2017). "'Wimpy Kid' is worst movie of year, so far". The Quad City Times. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  25. ^ "Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Gets Animated Movie : Red Carpet News TV". Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  26. ^ Minzesheimer, Bob. "Narrator hits 'Hard Luck' in eighth Wimpy Kid book". USA TODAY. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  27. ^ "Will there be a Diary of a Wimpy Kid Cabin Fever Movie? – Restaurantnorman.com". www.restaurantnorman.com. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  28. ^ "Disney Plans To Reboot HOME ALONE, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM, and DIARY OF A WIMPY KID". GeekTyrant. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  29. ^ "The Walt Disney Company Surpasses 137 Million Paid Subscriptions across its Direct-to-Consumer Services, Shattering Previous Guidance; Increases Paid Subscriptions Target to 300–350 million by 2024". The Walt Disney Company. December 11, 2020. Retrieved May 7, 2022.