8. Cheaper by the Dozen
Original Release Date: Cheaper by the Dozen hit theaters in the United States on Dec. 25, 2003 as a major Christmas Day release for 20th Century Fox.
Box Office Earnings: The filmed performed well at the Christmas box office, ranking at second place with receipts of $27.5 million on its opening weekend behind The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Cheaper by the Dozen went on to accumulate a worldwide gross of $190.2 million worldwide against its production budget of $40 million.
Critical Acclaim: Despite proving a bankable remake of the 1950 classic, Cheaper by the Dozen failed to wow critics, even with Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt in the lead. The film holds a meager 24% on Rotten Tomatoes, though critics Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper gave the film their coveted “two thumbs up!” rating. Even though most critics weren’t crazy about the film, fans certainly were, and a sequel was released in time for Christmas in 2005.
About the Role: Of course, Cheaper by the Dozen centers on a very large family, which contains 12 children of varied aged. Tom (Martin) and Kate (Hunt) Baker attempt to raise their dozen children without chaos ensuing, but who are they kidding? Their lives continue to grow and wrangling their crew becomes harder and harder, especially after Kate’s career takes off and matters at home nearly crumble to pieces in her absence. Duff plays Lorraine, the third child and second-oldest daughter, who’s a teenager full of angst.
Simply the Best: One of the upsides of Duff co-starring in Cheaper by the Dozen was that the film’s success didn’t hinge solely on her name. But it’s inescapable that having Hilary Duff in the mix of a movie like this didn’t hurt business one bit. In another world, they told the story from the point of view of Duff’s character, but the movie remains a classic for those who grew up with apple schmear and Simple Plan soundtracks. As Lorraine, she didn’t have to stretch too far from where she’d already been with the characters she’d played. Still, she made an excellent case for herself as an invaluable member of an ensemble, which would later come in handy for Younger.