Cheaper by the Dozen 2 Preview

This week we get to detail an interesting predicament that Patrick and I put ourselves in. In our last cycle we made the terrible, terrible (terrible) mistake of choosing Bulletproof Monk for the Chain Reaction category. It was a great BMT, but we really painted ourselves into a corner for the rest of the year due to the limited cast. After several days of slaving away in the BMT mine Patrick was able to finally discover a route that should satisfy our Chain Reaction needs for the rest of the year. Unfortunately that also means that we have to jump from Bulletproof Monk through Jaime King to… ugh… Cheaper by the Dozen 2. Two Hilary Duff movies in a row! Awww man. For serious? It was released on December 21st, beating out Richie Rich, Bonfire of the Vanities, Mixed Nuts, Joe Somebody, Fun with Dick and Jane, and Breakin’ 2 Electric Boogaloo to be the top (worst) release for the day. Wow, that’s impressive, albeit unfortunate for our BMT enjoyment. Sigh. Let’s go!

Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005) – BMeTric: 46.4



(Finally, some plots that don’t just shoot up to 70 and sit there. Nice little bump around Christmas in ‘06 (this came out near Christmas ‘05 so naturally people watched it a year later as well). The rating plot is amazingly steady and outpaced its regression by a bit. I think it got demolished early on, so maybe it’s a kids film where for some reason grown adults feel the need to destroy it online? Because of how steady the rating is this is also a very rare film where you can see the 2011 inflection in the BMeTric as well. Usually that inflection is countered-balanced by the rating going up as well so you usually don’t see it. It could have gotten to 50+ pretty easily if not for a few recent ratings bumps. Sigh.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Depressing sequel to the box-office hit finds the Bakers returning to the vacation spot of their youth, where dad Martin gets into a competitive spat with wealthy Levy. Once again, a comic known for his rapier wit is reduced to Z-list slapstick (e.g., taking falls chasing rodents). A far more compelling if unexplored movie was right under the filmmakers’ eyes: Levy’s courtship of wife Electra (surprisingly, a leveling influence here).

(Wait, more depressing than the first one?! I found it profoundly depressing already. Also, I’m not sure I understand the plot of his alternate film. Is this a film that focused on how Levy and Electra fall in love prior to the events of this film (which could hardly be called Cheaper by the Dozen 2)? Or just making them a more prominent focus of the film?)

Trailer –

(While this looks like The Great Outdoors reboot that nobody asked for, I also get the feeling that they might have gotten closer to what I hoped the first film was: a football coach learning to efficiently “coach” his giant squad of children to some purpose. Add a little dash of gay panic at the end and this might be promising (relatively speaking, of course))

Directors – Adam Shankman – (Known For: Hairspray; Rock of Ages; BMT: The Wedding Planner; Cheaper by the Dozen 2; The Pacifier; Bringing Down the House; Bedtime Stories; A Walk to Remember; Notes: Came out of Juilliard and started out dancing in music videos and television (such as the Nickelodeon show Roundhouse), then moved into Choreography, then Directing, and now Producing. Kind of incredible. Really worked his way up.)

Writers – Sam Harper (written by) – (Known For: Rio; Open Season; BMT: Just Married; Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Cheaper by the Dozen; Rookie of the Year; Notes: Obviously main writer on this. According to the production notes his first draft is close to the filming script and was a big part of getting Martin back and signing Levy.)

Craig Titley (characters) – (Known For: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief; BMT: Scooby-Doo; Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Cheaper by the Dozen; See Spot Run; Notes: Wrote the first film’s story so got a character credit. Now a main writer and producer on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey (novel) (as Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr.) – (BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: Original writers of the book. They are two of the Gilbreth kids that were inspiration for the story.)

Actors – Steve Martin – (Known For: Home; Looney Tunes: Back in Action; The Prince of Egypt; The Jerk; It’s Complicated; Little Shop of Horrors; ¡Three Amigos!; Father of the Bride; Parenthood; My Blue Heaven; Planes, Trains & Automobiles; Baby Mama; Bowfinger; Shopgirl; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; The Big Year; Roxanne; Father of the Bride Part II; All of Me; L.A. Story; The Muppet Movie; The Man with Two Brains; Leap of Faith; Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid; Pennies from Heaven; BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; The Pink Panther; The Pink Panther 2; Bringing Down the House; The Out-of-Towners; Cheaper by the Dozen; Mixed Nuts; Sgt. Bilko; Love the Coopers; Novocaine; HouseSitter; Notes: A comedy and movie star. Currently a major name in the bluegrass scene. Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2010 for Worst Actor for The Pink Panther 2.)

Also stars Hilary Duff and Tom Welling from the last two BMT films Material Girls and The Fog respectively

Budget/Gross – $60 million / Domestic: $82,571,173 (Worldwide: $129,181,830)

#34 on the Worst Openings – Super Saturated chart

#11 for the Comedy – Fish-Out-of-Water Father genre – Comedies about Fathers and Father Figures Parenting Children


(Strangely a genre which has not been added to since 2013. Also that early 90’s bump? Uncle Buck, both Problem Childs, Parenthood, and Three Men and a Little Lady. We are looking at the peak of the genre’s proliferation, but also when the profits looked to be a-tumbling)

#32 for the Comedy – Sequel (Live Action) genre


(Again! Right at a previous peak, but just as the genre was a tumbling. This is definitely a trend in BMT. Funny enough the new wave of comedy sequels is rising (Zoolander 2 and Neighbors 2 this year so far). Seems like they need to harvest a new crop of comedies to sequelize between boom-time.)

#8 for the Remake – Sequel to a Remake genre


(My God, those waves! They just get bigger and bigger. Presumably the troughs are where they release the original remake. I think ‘05 to ‘10 might end up going down in history as an anomaly in bad movie history, just prior to the tentpole movies crowding the release schedule and VOD becoming a real option, a true heyday of traditional bad movie watching. Another dying genre it looks like, possibly because these sequels are now more regularly being released by alternative means.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 6% (6/93): A sequel to a remake, Cheaper 2 wastes its solid cast in scenes of over-the-top, predictable humor.

(Ugh, that sequel to a remake part makes me feel a bit ill. It really is just misguided all around in this case because the first movie was already pretty terrible. Blah, not excited.)

Poster – Cheaper by the Sklogen 2 (D+)


(Horrific. Only saved by a lack of a The Avengers level gaffe and a nice level of symmetry. Patrick’s note: I’ve decided to Sklogify the movie name in the poster section now. Why? Because if I were to photoshop, let’s say, my face onto all 14 characters in the photo that would be the title of the film.)

Tagline(s) – Same Big Family… Even Bigger Adventure. (A)

(I… I… love it. It’s beautiful. Nearly a perfect tagline for this particular film. That’s all I have to say. It has left me nearly speechless.)

Notes – Hilary Duff had an eating disorder during filming, causing Lorraine to have a gaunt, skeletal appearance in this movie. (Oh sad, upsetting way to describe it too)

When the “Cheaper by the Dozen” movies were made, neither Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt, who played the parents of 12 children, had ever had a child in real life. Steve Martin first became a father years later in February of 2013 when his wife Anne Stringfield gave birth to his first child.

Carmen Electra is allergic to dogs. When the Bakers go to the Murtaughs’ house, their dog Gunner jumps all over her. When the Bakers are leaving, tiny red dots are all over her body. (Also gross. These notes are gross)

Real baby and childhood pictures of Hilary Duff and Alyson Stoner were used for the “photo albums” of their characters. (coool)

This film is a sequel to a remake of a film that was based on a book that was based on a true story. This means it is four steps away from its source material. (cooooooooool)

The Baker’s Cabin for the movie was built and then torn down after the filming. (ugh. I hate these notes. So wasteful.)

Events in the Labor Day Cup included: the Egg Toss, Wheelbarrow Race, Diving, Sack Race, Archery, Egg and Spoon Race, Water Treadmill, Volleyball, and the Tie-breaker Canoe Race. Not seen, but shown on the scoreboard were: Tug-O-War, Baseball Dunk, and Water Skiing. (hahahahahaha I love that this is a note. Hey, we should hold a BMT summer extravaganza with these exact events. People would be like “I wonder why they chose these twelve specific and mundane events for a bad movie festival” and we’ll creep over and whisper “Cheaper by the Dozen 2” and then they’ll throw up in their mouths)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Hilary Duff)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Eugene Levy)

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