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Cheaper by the Dozen is a 2003 American family comedy film directed by Shawn Levy, and stars Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt. It is a remake of the 1950 film of the same name. The film was released on December 25, 2003, by 20th Century Fox and grossed $190.2 million worldwide against a $40 million budget, despite mixed to negative reviews from critics.[1]

Cheaper by the Dozen
Cheaper by the Dozen 2003 film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byShawn Levy
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story byCraig Titley
Based onCheaper by the Dozen
by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr.
Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
Narrated byBonnie Hunt
Music byChristophe Beck
CinematographyJonathan Brown
Edited byGeorge Folsey, Jr.
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • December 25, 2003 (2003-12-25) (United States)
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$40 million
Box office$190.2 million[1]



Tom Baker is a college football coach. His wife, Kate, gave birth to twelve children: Nora, Charlie, Lorraine, Henry, Sarah, Jake, fraternal twins Kim and Jessica, Mark, Mike and identical twins Nigel and Kyle. Kate has written a book about her experiences and hopes her friend will publish it. One day, Tom unexpectedly receives an offer from his old friend and football teammate Shake McGuire, to coach at his alma mater in his hometown. Tom accepts the offer and demands the children vote on moving, promising them that moving will make them a happier and stronger family. Despite losing the vote, the family moves. When they arrive, their new home is massive, and the family unpacks. Their new neighbors welcome them, and their son, Dylan, has an accident while playing hockey with the Baker kids. Regardless of the incident, Dylan invites the kids to his upcoming birthday party.

The Bakers settle into their new home. Kate learns her book is ready for publishing, but she is required to do a national book tour to promote it. Tom believes he can handle the kids while Kate is away. Tom hires the family's oldest child, Nora, and her self-absorbed Model/Actor boyfriend, Hank, to help him manage the children. The kids, especially Sarah, hate Hank and plan a prank against him to stop him from babysitting them. When Nora and Hank arrive to discuss the plan with Tom, the kids begin their prank on Hank by tripping him into their kiddie pool full of muddy water. While Hank's clothes are being washed and dried, the kids soak his underwear in meat and unleash the family dog, Gunner, onto him. As a result, Nora storms out with Hank and Tom punishes the younger kids.

After Kate departs for her book tour, Tom realizes that he cannot handle the children on his own after a chaotic night. Tom tries to hire a housekeeper, but nobody is willing to work with a family as large as the Bakers. Tom brings his football players from work into the family's house to prepare for an upcoming game while the kids do their chores and homework. However, the children cause trouble, including getting into fights at school, slacking on their chores and causing mass panic at Dylan's birthday party by accidentally letting a pet snake loose after the children snuck out to Dylan's birthday party while being grounded from any fun and games. On top of all this, Charlie gets kicked off his school's football team. Out of desperation, Tom calls Nora to look after the kids whilst he is at work. Later that night, Hank sneaks over to the Baker house and sleeps over in Nora's room.

Kate overhears from the children about the chaos and cancels the book tour so she can return home to her family. Kate's publisher decides to create an additional promotion for her book by inviting Oprah Winfrey to tape a segment about the Bakers in their home instead. Tom finds out that Hank slept over and becomes frustrated, not to mention Shake threatening to demote him due to his constant absence at work. Despite much coaching from Kate, the Bakers are not able to demonstrate the loving, strongly bonded family that Kate described in her book. When Mark becomes upset that his pet frog has died, a heated fight erupts moments before the segment starts, leading the cameramen to call Winfrey to cancel it. Mark, feeling nobody cares about him, runs away from home, prompting the Bakers to look for him. Tom calls Nora and asks for her and Hank to help look for Mark. When Hank refuses and would rather watch himself on TV in a commercial, Nora leaves him. Tom follows a hunch that Mark is running back to the Bakers' old home; he finds Mark on a departing train. Reuniting with the rest of their family, the Bakers address their issues with each other, and Tom ultimately resigns from his position at his alma mater with Shake, instead choosing to spend more time with his kids to be a better father for them. The Bakers grow closer together, and they become a happier and stronger family just like Tom promised.


The parentsEdit

The childrenEdit


The film's director Shawn Levy makes a cameo as a reporter.


A sequel, Cheaper by the Dozen 2, was released in the United States on December 21, 2005.


"Cheaper by the Dozen" Soundtrack
No.TitleWriter(s)Performed byLength
1."I'm Just a Kid"Simple PlanSimple Plan1:24
2."Help!"Lennon–McCartneyFountains Of Wayne1:12
3."In Too Deep"Sum 41Sum 412:46
4."What Christmas Should Be"Hilary DuffHilary Duff3:10
5."Life Is a Highway"Tom CochraneTom Cochrane4:26
6."These Are Days"10,000 Maniacs10,000 Maniacs3:39
7."Rockin' Robin"Leon RenéMichael Jackson2:33
8."Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"Johnny MarksBrenda Lee2:06

Other compositions used in the movie are "Classical Gas" by Mason Williams and Carl Orff's "O Fortuna", among others.


Critical receptionEdit

The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 24% approval rating based on reviews from 118 critics, with an average score of 4.5 out of 10, and the site's consensus reading: "In this family of twelve children, much chaos ensues, but little hilarity."[2] On Metacritic, which determines a normalized rating from mainstream critics, the film received a score of 46 out of 100 based on 30 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[3] Despite initial reactions, the film was given "Two Thumbs Up" from Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper on their television show.

Box officeEdit

The film opened on Christmas Day 2003, and ranked at #2, grossing $27,557,647 in its opening weekend ($35,397,241 including its Thursday Christmas Day gross) and, despite being kept from the top spot by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, went on to gross $190,212,113 worldwide.[1] Ashton Kutcher was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor for his performance in this, Just Married, and My Boss's Daughter.[citation needed]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Association Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
Kid's Choice Awards Favorite Male Movie Star Ashton Kutcher Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Blush Hilary Duff Nominated
Choice Breakout Movie Star – Male Tom Welling Nominated
Choice Movie Liplock Piper Perabo & Ashton Kutcher Nominated
Young Artist Awards Best Young Ensemble Cast Cast (under 18) Won
Best Young Actor Age Ten or Younger Forrest Landis Won
Best Young Actress Age Ten or Younger Alyson Stoner Nominated
Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Actor Ashton Kutcher Nominated

Home mediaEdit

The film was released on VHS and DVD on April 6, 2004.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c "Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
  2. ^ "Cheaper by the Dozen". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
  3. ^ "Cheaper by the Dozen". Metacritic. Retrieved 28 September 2017.

External linksEdit