Cheaper by the Dozen 2

Cheaper by the Dozen 2 is a 2005 American family comedy film directed by Adam Shankman. It is a sequel to the 2003 film Cheaper by the Dozen and features Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Hilary Duff, Piper Perabo, Alyson Stoner, and Tom Welling among others reprising their roles as members of the 12-child Baker family. Eugene Levy co-stars as the patriarch of a rival family of eight children. Carmen Electra portrays his wife.

Cheaper by the Dozen 2
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAdam Shankman
Produced by
Written bySam Harper
Based onCharacters
by Craig Titley
Cheaper by the Dozen
Belles on Their Toes
by Ernestine Gilbreth Carey and Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr.
Music byJohn Debney
CinematographyPeter James
Edited by
Distributed by20th Century Fox[1]
Release date
  • December 21, 2005 (2005-12-21)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited States[1]
Budget$60 million[3]
Box office$135 million[3]


Two years after Tom Baker resigned from his head coaching position, his family begins to undergo many changes, beginning with his daughter Lorraine's internship with Allure Magazine in New York City. The Bakers’ eldest daughter, Nora, is now married to Bud McNulty and pregnant with their first child; Bud and Nora intend to move to Houston because of Bud's new job.

Feeling the family is breaking apart as the children grow up and move away, Tom persuades them to take one last family vacation all together at Lake Winnetka, a fictional lake in Wisconsin. The family finds that their old cabin is currently owned by a man named Mike Romanow. Tom's old rival, Jimmy Murtaugh, his new wife Sarina, and their large family (with "only" eight kids) are also staying at the lake for the summer; Jimmy is also friends and neighbors with Mike Romanow. Jimmy constantly flaunts his wealth and success to Tom, as well as the accomplishments of his children, often suggesting to Tom that his are less successful because of his parenting style. They get into many incidents, several of which are accidental: Mark Baker, along with Kenny Murtaugh, crashes into a tennis court with a golf cart, Sarah Baker is caught shoplifting from a gift shop, and Mark accidentally sets off a backpack of fireworks, causing widespread panic, especially when it is thrown into a boat, igniting its engine and causing it to explode.

Jimmy again brings up the topic that Tom needs to be more strict with his kids. Tom is angered by this, and he and Jimmy decide to settle the matter at the Annual Labor Day Family Cup. Tom trains the kids for days, not realizing they are miserable. Sarah and Elliot Murtaugh watch Ice Age together, but are spied on by their fathers, which ultimately results in them getting into an argument and humiliating their children. Upon returning to the Bakers’ cabin, Sarah is furious and refuses to compete for Tom in the Cup. The children are angry with him, not only for spying on Sarah, but also for ruining the entire trip because of his competitiveness with the Murtaughs, and Tom's wife Kate laments that his and Jimmy’s conflicting parenting styles have torn the two families even further apart.

The next morning, Tom goes to the Cup to compete with Nigel and Kyle, the only two still willing to go. However, after discovering an old "Team Baker" flag, Kate and the rest of the kids show up, showing they forgive him and are willing to compete. After the events, however, the Bakers and the Murtaughs are tied for first; a tiebreaking canoe race is announced, in which every family member must compete. During the canoe race, Nora goes into labor; the Murtaughs want to help, but Jimmy, sensing the opportunity to defeat Tom once and for all, refuses to do so. The Murtaugh children jump out of the canoe to help the Bakers. While arguing with Sarina, Jimmy reveals that he was jealous of Tom being the popular one when they were younger. Eventually, Sarina convinces him to help and the two families work together to get Nora to the hospital. Bud, Lorraine, and Kate go with Nora in the delivery room, while Tom, Jimmy, Sarina, and the rest of the kids stay in the waiting room. While talking with Jimmy, Tom realizes that he has to let his kids grow, but wherever they go, they will always be with him, and he will always be with them. Nora then gives birth to a baby boy whom she and Bud name Tom in honor of his grandfather, who has shown them that "there is no way to be a perfect parent, but a million ways to be a really good one." Bud announces that he and Nora have bought the cabin that the Bakers had been renting. Nora, Bud, and baby Tom leave for Houston a few days later.





  • Jonathan Bennett as Bud McNulty, Nora’s husband and Tom and Kate’s son-in-law.
  • Peter Keleghan as Mike Romanow, Jimmy’s neighbor and friend who is the owner of the old cabin at Lake Winnetka that the Baker family rents.


  1. "I Wish" – Stevie Wonder
  2. "Graduation Day Song" – Joseph L. Altruda
  3. "Mexicali Mondays" – Christopher Lightbody and Robert Steinmiller
  4. "What If" – Gina Rene
  5. "Martini Lounge" – David Sparkman
  6. "Drinks on the House" – Daniel May
  7. "Big Sky Lullaby" – Daniel May
  8. "Someday" – Sugar Ray
  9. "Express Yourself" – Jason Mraz
  10. "Michael Finnegan" – Traditional
  11. "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" – Traditional
  12. "Why Can't We Be Friends" – War
  13. "Die Walküre" – Richard Wagner
  14. "Theme from Jaws" – John Williams
  15. "Mallin" – Tree Adams
  16. "Under Pressure" – Queen and David Bowie
  17. "Music from Ice Age" – David Newman
  18. "Holiday" – Madonna
  19. "Sunday Morning" (acoustic version) – Maroon 5
  20. "Bridal Chorus" – Richard Wagner


Critical response

Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes ranked Cheaper by the Dozen 2 98th in the 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s. It has a rating of 6% based on 93 reviews of the film.[4] The site's consensus reads: "A sequel to a remake, Cheaper 2 wastes its solid cast in scenes of over-the-top, predictable humor".[5] On Metacritic, it has a score of 34 out of 100 based on 24 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[6]

Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert, gave the film one of its rare positive reviews, awarding it 3/4 stars and stating "As I watched this sequel, a certain good feeling began to make itself known. Yes, the movie is unnecessary. However, it is unnecessary at a higher level of warmth and humor than the recent remake Yours, Mine, and Ours." Ebert also highly praised Alyson Stoner's performance, favorably comparing the then-twelve year old actress to Reese Witherspoon.[7]

Calling the overall film "bland", Variety's Justin Chang agreed with Ebert on Stoner, calling her "an endearingly vulnerable standout" and deeming her subplot to be "the most engaging" in it. Chang was also kind to Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt and Eugene Levy, deeming the veteran actors did the best with what was given to them.[8] Marrit Ingman of the Austin Chronicle conceded that it had a good message, and agreed that Hunt was "marvelous and down-to-earth" but ultimately felt that "the rest of the movie is as funny as mildew", found that "the product placement is particularly egregious" and thought that Hilary Duff looked "as tanned and raw as buffalo jerky".[9] Andrea Gronvall was also horrified by Duff's appearance while writing for the Chicago Reader, calling her "haggard" and "flat-out scary", and overall felt that there was "a discernible lack of enthusiasm from almost everyone involved", however singling out Carmen Electra for being "the most winning performer of the bunch".[10]

The film received two Razzie Award nominations including Worst Actress (Hilary Duff) and Worst Supporting Actor (Eugene Levy).

Box office

The film grossed $9,309,387 on its opening weekend, finishing in 4th place at the box office. By the end of its run, Cheaper by the Dozen 2 grossed $82,571,173 domestically and $46,610,657 internationally, totaling $129,181,830 worldwide. It is one of only twelve feature films to be released in over 3,000 theaters and still improve on its box office performance in its second weekend, increasing 55.6% from $9,309,387 to $14,486,519.[11]

Home video

The DVD was released on May 23, 2006.[3] The Blu-ray was released on January 5, 2010. The DVD is two-sided and side B features previews of Flicka and Aquamarine. Other DVD extras include an audio commentary with director Adam Shankman, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and theatrical trailers.


  1. "Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  2. "Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005)". BFI. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  3. "Cheaper by the Dozen 2 - Box Office Data". The Numbers. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  4. "The Worst of the Worst Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Archived from the original on February 8, 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
  5. "Cheaper by the Dozen 2". Rotten Tomatoes.
  6. "Cheaper by the Dozen 2". Metacritic.
  7. Ebert, Roger (20 December 2005). "Cheaper by the Dozen 2 Movie Review (2005)". Roger Ebert. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  8. Chang, Justin (21 December 2005). "Review: 'Cheaper by the Dozen 2'". Variety. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  9. Ingman, Marrit (23 December 2005). "Film Review: Cheaper by the Dozen 2". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  10. Gronvall, Andrea (December 2005). "Cheaper by the Dozen 2". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  11. "Smallest Second Weekend Drops". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
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