The film was shot in Toronto and Eugene Levy's hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and on Stoney Lake in Burleigh Falls, Ontario.
Two years after Tom Baker resigned from his head coaching position, the Baker family begins to undergo many changes, beginning with Lorraine and her desire to study in New York. Their oldest daughter Nora is now married to Bud McNulty and is expecting their first child. They intend to move to Houston because of Bud's new job promotion.
Feeling the family is breaking apart as the children grow up and move away, Tom persuades the entire family to take one last family vacation all together at Lake Winnetka. Tom's old rival Jimmy Murtaugh and his large family (with "only" eight kids) are also there for the summer. Jimmy constantly flaunts his wealth and success to Tom, as well as the accomplishments of his children, often suggesting to Tom that the Baker children are less successful because of Tom's parenting style. The Baker kids 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 in a gift shop, and Mark accidentally sets off a backpack of fireworks, causing widespread panic, especially when the backpack is thrown into a boat, igniting its engine and causing it to explode.
Jimmy again starts the topic that Tom needs to use a firmer hand on his kids. Tom is angered by this, and they 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 home, Sarah is furious and refuses to compete for her father in the Cup. Everyone, including Kate, is angry with Tom, not only for spying on Sarah, but also for ruining the entire trip through his competitiveness with the Murtaughs.
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 family show up, showing they forgive Tom 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 race, Nora's water breaks; the Murtaughs want to help, but Jimmy, sensing the opportunity to defeat Tom once and for all, initially refuses to help. Eventually, the Murtaughs convince Jimmy that they should help the Bakers, and the Bakers and the Murtaughs work together to get Nora to the hospital as she goes into labor. 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 to 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 who she and Bud name Tom in honor of her father, who has shown them "there is no way to be a perfect parent, but a million ways to be a really good one." Bud announces that they have bought "The Big House", the vacation home that the Bakers have been renting. Nora, Bud and baby Tom leave for Houston a few days later while the Bakers continue their vacation at Lake Winnetka.Steve Martin as Tom BakerBonnie Hunt as Kate BakerPiper Perabo as Nora Baker-McNultyTom Welling as Charlie BakerHilary Duff as Lorraine BakerKevin G. Schmidt as Henry BakerAlyson Stoner as Sarah BakerJacob Smith as Jake BakerForrest Landis as Mark BakerMorgan York as Kim BakerLiliana Mumy as Jessica BakerBlake Woodruff as Mike BakerShane Kinsman as Nigel BakerBrent Kinsman as Kyle BakerJonathan Bennett as Bud McNultyEugene Levy as Jimmy MurtaughCarmen Electra as Sarina MurtaughShawn Roberts as Calvin MurtaughJaime King as Anne MurtaughRobbie Amell as Daniel MurtaughMelanie Tonello as Becky MurtaughTaylor Lautner as Eliot MurtaughMadison Fitzpatrick as Robin MurtaughCourtney Fitzpatrick as Lisa MurtaughAlexander Conti as Kenneth MurtaughBen Falcone and Kathryn Joosten as theater patronsDirector Adam Shankman (cameo) as the Clam Bake ChefProducer Shawn Levy cameos as a hospital intern.
The film was shot in Toronto and Eugene Levy's hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The scenes at Lakeside High School were filmed at St. Andrew's College. The lake and cottage scenes were located at Rockwood, Ontario, and Burleigh Falls, Ontario on Stoney Lake.
- "I Wish" – Stevie Wonder
- "Graduation Day Song" – Joseph L. Altruda
- "Mexicali Mondays" – Christopher Lightbody and Robert Steinmiller
- "What If" – Gina Rene
- "Martini Lounge" – David Sparkman
- "Drinks on the House" – Daniel May
- "Big Sky Lullaby" – Daniel May
- "Someday" – Sugar Ray
- "Express Yourself" – Jason Mraz
- "Michael Finnegan" – Traditional
- "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" – Traditional
- "Why Can't We Be Friends" – War
- "Die Walküre" – Richard Wagner
- "Theme from Jaws" – John Williams
- "Miracles" - Insane Clown Posse
- "Mallin" – Tree Adams
- "Under Pressure" – Queen and David Bowie
- "Music from Ice Age" – David Newman
- "Madonna" – Madonna
- "Sunday Morning" (acoustic version) – Maroon 5
- "Bridal Chorus" – Richard Wagner
Reviews for the film were overwhelmingly negative. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes ranked Cheaper by the Dozen 2 98th in the 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s, with a rating of 6% based on 93 reviews of the film. The site's consensus reads " A sequel to a remake, Cheaper 2 wastes its solid cast in scenes of over-the-top, predictable humor". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 34 out of 100, based on 24 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
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.
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 the film. 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. Marrit Ingman of the Austin Chronicle conceded that the film 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". 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".
The film received two Razzie Award nominations including Worst Actress (Hilary Duff) and Worst Supporting Actor (Eugene Levy).
The film grossed $9,309,387 million 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.
The DVD was released on May 23, 2006. The Blu-ray was released on January 5, 2010. The DVD is two-sided and side B has an inside look previews of Flicka and Aquamarine.