Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (film)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is a 2017 American live-action/animated road comedy film directed by David Bowers. It is the fourth installment in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film series, and is based on the ninth and tenth books in the series, The Long Haul and Old School, and one element each based on the seventh and eighth books, The Third Wheel and Hard Luck.
|Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David Bowers|
|Based on||Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul and Old School|
by Jeff Kinney
|Music by||Edward Shearmur|
|Cinematography||Anthony B. Richmond|
|Edited by||Troy Takaki|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$40.1 million|
It is both a sequel and a soft reboot as the cast members from the first three films (Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, and Devon Bostick) do not reprise their roles, and are replaced by a new cast. It was theatrically released on May 19, 2017, by 20th Century Fox. It received very negative reviews, with many criticizing its new cast. In particular, the hashtag #notmyrodrick became trending on social media when the trailer was released. It grossed $40 million worldwide on a $22 million production budget.
It is also the last film in the series to be produced by 20th Century Fox until the studio was acquired by Disney in 2019 and the last one before the series was rebooted under their name, changing it into a fully computer-animated film series on Disney+ after Jeff Kinney decided not to allow any further live-action adaptations of his works.
One day while the Heffleys are dining at a family restaurant known as Corny's with Greg's (Jason Drucker) best friend, Rowley (Owen Asztalos), joining them, Susan (Alicia Silverstone) announces family plans to attend Meemaw's (Mimi Gould) 90th birthday party, much to her family's dismay. Greg is then instructed by her to rescue his younger brother, Manny (Wyatt and Dylan Walters), who became stuck inside a tube in the play area. He ends up in a ball pit with a diaper stuck on his hand. He subsequently becomes infamous after the people around him record him and post the footage on the Internet, leading him to be dubbed as an embarrassing meme known as "Diaper Hands".
Later, at home, Greg learns that the Player Expo is taking place not very far from Meemaw's house in Indianapolis. His gaming star, Mac Digby (Joshua Hoover), will be attending, and he hopes to meet him and get in one of his videos so he will gain popularity and put the Diaper Hands meme behind him. He acknowledges that he will have to somehow sneak off from the road trip and attend the Expo without Susan and Frank's (Tom Everett Scott) knowledge, however. The Heffley family hits the road, where Greg, Rodrick (Charlie Wright) and Frank's, devices are immediately confiscated by Susan, who wants the road trip to be "absolutely technology-free".
After arriving at a motel, Greg secretly gets into the car, takes his phone out of the bag, and uses it. Later, when Greg and Rodrick are relaxing in a hot tub, Rodrick hears a notification from Greg's phone and discovers his plans to go to the Player Expo. He discourages Rodrick from telling Susan, saying that they have a rock band video game tournament there that he could participate in. Liking the idea, he opts to go there with Greg. Later that night, Greg is woken up twice by a loud noise. Upon seeing what it is, he encounters a couple of siblings playing with a cart by repeatedly wheeling it into a wall, belonging to a family whom he later dubs as "the Beardos" due to their father's large beard. Greg scolds them for waking him up and eventually threatens to have them and their family kicked out. Their father, whom Greg later dubs as "Mr. Beardo" (Chris Coppola), then becomes bent on getting revenge on him after his daughter damages his van with the cart and puts the blame on him.
The next day, the Heffleys attend a country fair where Manny wins a piglet. Mr. Beardo, who is also there with his family, notices Greg and begins chasing after him, but manages to lose him on a spinning ride. Back on the road, the Heffleys, unable to take care of the piglet, drop it off at a petting zoo, much to Manny's dismay, but not before Greg reroutes the GPS to the Player Expo. Checking at the hotel room, Greg and Rodrick tell Susan and Frank that they're buying a gift for Meemaw, but they actually sneak out to the Player Expo. Upon realizing that they are missing, Susan calls the police to look for them, but decides to go get them herself after seeing them on TV.
Greg sees Mac Digby participating in a video game competition and tells Rodrick to record him on the stage, but the attempt fails when he accidentally knocks out the power to Mac's screen and Susan arrives, revealing to everyone that he is Diaper Hands. She opens up to him and says that all she wanted was a nice road trip that would bring her family closer together, and she accuses him of not caring. He berates her that she doesn't care about his interests either, which is why he had to sneak out to the Player Expo in the first place. Having given up, she allows him to play on her phone.
Back on the road, the tarp on their motorboat blows opens and all of their belongings begin to fall out. The Beardos then show up and begin stealing them as "payback" including a suitcase containing a family memory book for Meemaw, causing Susan to break down in tears. The Heffleys chase after them, but get stuck in a long line of traffic. While taking a back road, they eventually find the Beardos' van at another motel where they get their belongings back.
After reaching their destination, the Heffleys happily celebrate Meemaw's birthday with their other relatives. Returning home, Manny manages to get his piglet back. At the end, Greg explains that although the trip wasn't perfect, he still wouldn't change a thing. He says that Manny was allowed to keep his piglet as a pet, Rodrick was able to get a new van, and Frank was able to explain having time off from work to bond with his family. Greg expresses excitement for where they'll be going next year, but 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.
- Jason Drucker as Greg Heffley
- Alicia Silverstone as Susan Heffley
- Tom Everett Scott as Frank Heffley
- Charlie Wright as Rodrick Heffley
- Owen Asztalos as Rowley Jefferson
- Dylan and Wyatt Walters as Manny Heffley
- Joshua Hoover as Mac Digby
- Chris Coppola as Mr. Beardo
- Kimberli Lincoln as Mrs. Beardo
- Mira Silverman as Brandi Beardo
- Mimi Gould as Meemaw
The series' author, Jeff Kinney, makes his third cameo role, this time as a booth owner in the Player Expo.
In 2012, the series' third entry, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days was described as the last live action film in the franchise. In August 2012, 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.
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!" 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."
In March 2013, Gordon stated in a Spreecast live stream that there would not be a fourth live action film. 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.
Lucas Cruikshank, best known for creating the YouTube series, Fred originally auditioned for the role of Mac Digby. However, he didn't read the script and had no idea of the role he was auditioning for outside of the fact that it was a YouTube role. Coincidently, Cruikshank previously auditioned for the role of Greg Heffley back in the first film.
The film was released on May 17, 2017, in the Philippines, two days later on May 19 in the United States, and one day later on May 20 in the United Kingdom.
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. It was the lowest-grossing film of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by a wide margin.
In North America, the film was initially projected to gross around $12 million from 3,129 theaters during its opening weekend. 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.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 18% based on 71 reviews and an average rating of 4.09/10. 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." On Metacritic, it has a score of 39 out of 100 based on 16 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave it an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, down from the first three films' "A-".
Jesse Hassenger of The A.V. Club called the film "repetitive and uninspired". 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." 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.
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. It grossed $2.6 million in home video sales.
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