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Diary of a Wimpy Kid (sometimes known as Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Movie) is a 2010 American comedy film directed by Thor Freudenthal and based on Jeff Kinney's book of the same name.[4][5][6] The film stars Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron. Devon Bostick, Rachael Harris, Steve Zahn, and Chloë Grace Moretz also have prominent roles. It is the first installment in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film series, and was followed by three sequels, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2011), Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012) and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2017).[7]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byThor Freudenthal
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based onDiary of a Wimpy Kid
by Jeff Kinney
Narrated byZachary Gordon
Music byTheodore Shapiro
CinematographyJack N. Green
Edited byWendy Greene Bricmont
Distributed by20th Century Fox[1]
Release date
  • March 19, 2010 (2010-03-19)
Running time
92 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$15 million[2]
Box office$75.7 million[3]

The film was theatrically released on March 19, 2010 in the United States by 20th Century Fox. The film earned $75.7 million on a $15 million budget. It is the only film in the series to be directed by Freudenthal, who was replaced by David Bowers for the rest of the installments.


Greg Heffley, an 11 year-old boy who constantly fights with his brothers Rodrick and Manny, is apprehensive about beginning middle school. On his first day, he quickly discovers the ups and downs, such as the missing stall doors in the boys' bathroom and the difficulties of obtaining a seat during lunch. During P.E. class, he and his best friend Rowley Jefferson escape from a game of Gladiator and learn about a moldy piece of cheese on the basketball court that makes anyone who touches it an outcast, known as the Cheese Touch. Greg also meets Angie, a girl who isolates herself from the other students to survive. Greg states his intention of becoming the most popular student in school.

The next day, Greg signs up for wrestling but suffers back-to-back humiliating losses against Fregley, a weird outcast, and Patty Farrell, Greg's arch-enemy from elementary school. On Halloween, while out with Rowley trick or treating, teenagers drive by in a pickup truck and spray a fire extinguisher at them. When Greg threatens to call the cops, the teenagers chase them to his Grandma's house, but Greg and Rowley escape the people after Greg accidentally damages the truck.

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. After Greg accidentally breaks Rowley's arm during a game the boys played, Rowley becomes extremely popular, and wins the cartoonist contest, making Greg becomes jealous of him. During a Safety Patrol assignment, Greg panics when he encounters a truck identical to the teenagers from Halloween, and hides kindergartners in a construction zone, but is spotted by a neighbor who mistakes him for Rowley. To his own bewilderment, Rowley is suspended from the Patrol, but Greg eventually confesses to Rowley that he was the one who was responsible. Upset and feeling betrayed that Greg didn't own up to his actions, Rowley accuses Greg of not being a good friend and ends their friendship. Greg is eventually withdrawn from the Safety Patrol while Rowley is reinstated and makes friends with his classmate Collin, who replaces Greg as his new best friend.

Greg decides to pursue popularity without Rowley by joining the school's production of The Wizard of Oz. At tryouts, Greg's soprano voice earns him the role of Dorothy; however, Patty threatens the teacher into casting her instead. Greg signs up as a tree, hoping to throw apples on Patty during the play, but during rehearsal, the trees are told they won't throw apples but sing a song instead. At the performance, Greg refuses to sing as Rodrick is videotaping the performance, and begins throwing apples after Patty throws a huge fit at what Greg has done, ending the play in chaos.

Later, Greg and his mother attend a mother-son dance at the school despite his reluctance. At Susan's encouragement, Greg attempts to reconcile with Rowley but is rejected. Depressed, he can only watch as Rowley and his mother perform a dance routine to "Intergalactic" by the Beastie Boys, winning over the crowd and shocking Greg.

One day after school, Rowley and Greg loudly confront each other, prompting Patty and the other students to force Greg and Rowley to fight; however, neither of them are good at fighting. The teenagers from Halloween arrive at the scene and catch the boys, forcing Rowley and Greg to eat the Cheese. The school's gym teacher Coach Malone came out just before Greg gets tempted and the teenagers ran off. When the other students notice that the Cheese has been eaten, Greg takes the blame for Rowley by saying he got rid of it. This mends their friendship as Greg invites Rowley to play at his house.

At the end of the school year, Greg and Rowley make the yearbook Class Favorites page as "Cutest Friends".


A then 9 year old Billie Eilish did background dialogue recording for this film.[8]


Filming of Diary of a Wimpy Kid was in Vancouver and wrapped up on October 16, 2009. Lucas Cruikshank, best known for creating the web series Fred, had auditioned for the role as Greg Heffley. Even though he was 17 at the time, the crew members were impressed with his performance, but he was "too old for the role". The role was given to Zachary Gordon, who was 5 years younger than Cruikshank. Cruikshank mentioned this on his official YouTube channel, which was on a video where he talked about his film roles that he didn't get. Seven years later, Cruikshank asked if he could audition again for The Long Haul, but the casting crew did not let him.

The official trailer for Wimpy Kid was released virally on January 21, 2010 and was shown in theaters with Tooth Fairy.[9] A poster for the film was released shortly after. Another trailer was shown with Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.[10]

The official Facebook account for Wimpy Kid had uploaded three clips from the film, as of March 1, 2010.[11] In the United Kingdom and Ireland the film was released in cinemas on August 25, 2010.


The soundtrack was released on CD by La La Land Records with the score composed by Theodore Shapiro, containing 34 tracks.


Tie-in bookEdit

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.[12][13]

Home mediaEdit

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 responseEdit

Review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 53%, based on 106 reviews with an average rating of 5.5/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "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."[14] It also holds a rating of 56/100 at Metacritic, based on 26 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[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] gave the movie a C+ grade, criticizing it for being "too often dull, unappealing and clumsy, hobbled by unnecessary changes and inventions that add no charm, energy or, truly, point."[19]

Box officeEdit

The film opened in second place at the weekend box office grossing $22.1 million, behind Alice in Wonderland.[20]

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 book adaptation. Diary of a Wimpy Kid grossed more in its first three days than other film adaptions to novels like How to Eat Fried Worms and Hoot grossed in their entire runs.[20] The film grossed $64,003,625 in North America and $11,696,873 in other territories for a worldwide total of $75,700,498.[21]


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 [22]
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


Three sequels were released in 2011, 2012 and 2017 respectively. 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. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days was released on August 3, 2012 and is based on The Last Straw and Dog Days, including scenes from both books. An animated short film, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Class Clown, was released along with the DVD of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. A film based on The Long Haul was released in May 2017 featuring a new cast starring Jason Drucker, Alicia Silverstone, and Tom Everett Scott. On 7th August 2019, it was announced that a reboot of diary of a wimpy kid movies is being developed by Disney for its streaming service Disney plus. The news came from Disney CEO Bob Iger and was reported by Entertainment Journalist Ashley Carter.


  1. ^ a b c "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  2. ^ "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
  3. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  4. ^ Breznican, Anthony (September 29, 2009). "First Look: 'Wimpy Kid' actor embraces being 'a likable jerk'". USA Today. Retrieved October 20, 2009.
  5. ^ McNary, Dave (August 3, 2009). "Steve Zahn to star in 'Wimpy Kid'". Variety. Retrieved October 20, 2009.
  6. ^ McCarron, Heather (October 12, 2009). "Nothing 'Wimpy' about local author's success". Milford Daily News. Retrieved October 20, 2009.
  7. ^ Kara Warner (July 29, 2016). "Diary of a Wimpy Kid Announces Its Brand New Leads for Fourth Film, The Long Haul". People. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  8. ^ Eells, Josh; Eells, Josh (July 31, 2019). "Billie Eilish and the Triumph of the Weird". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
  9. ^ "Diary of A Wimpy Kid Theatrical Trailer".
  10. ^ Official Wimpy Kid Movie on Facebook (January 2010). "Wimpy Kid Movie Poster".
  11. ^ Official Wimpy Kid Movie on Facebook (January 2010). "Facebook | Official Wimpy Kid Movie".
  12. ^ "Jeff Kinney to make The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary".
  13. ^ The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary, Book Details Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  14. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  15. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  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. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  18. ^ David Stratton, Margaret Pomeranz (September 29, 2010). "29 September 2010". At the Movies. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. September 29, 2010.
  19. ^ "Review: 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' isn't 'Wimpy' enough". March 18, 2010. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  20. ^ a b "Weekend Report: 'Alice' Tops Again, 'Diary', 'Bounty' Neck-and-Neck". Box Office Mojo. March 22, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  21. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
  22. ^ "32nd Annual Young Artist Awards". Archived from the original on March 20, 2011. Retrieved March 31, 2011.

External linksEdit