Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

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Night at the Museum:
Battle of the Smithsonian
Night at the Museum 2 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Shawn Levy
Produced by
Written by
Based onCharacters created by
Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon
The Night at the Museum by Milan Trenc
Starring
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography John Schwartzman
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • May 22, 2009 (2009-05-22)
Running time
104 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$150 million [1]
Box office$413.1 million [1]

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is a 2009 American adventure fantasy comedy film written by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, produced by Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan and Shawn Levy and directed by Levy. The film stars Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Hank Azaria, Bill Hader, Christopher Guest, Alain Chabat, Jon Bernthal, and Robin Williams. It is the second film in the Night at the Museum series, following the 2006 film Night at the Museum . The film was released theatrically on May 22, 2009 by 20th Century Fox. Like its predecessor, it received mixed critical reception and a box office success by grossing over $413 million on a $150 million budget.

Robert Ben Garant American screenwriter, producer, director, actor, and comedian

Robert Ben Garant is an American screenwriter, producer, director, actor and comedian. He has a long professional relationship with Thomas Lennon, from their time on the seminal sketch-comedy show The State, the cop show spoof Reno 911!, and numerous screenwriting collaborations.

Chris Columbus (filmmaker) American filmmaker

Chris Joseph Columbus is an American filmmaker. Columbus is known for directing films such as Home Alone (1990); its sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992); Mrs. Doubtfire (1993); Nine Months (1995); Stepmom (1998); Bicentennial Man (1999); Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001); its sequel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002); Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010); and Pixels (2015). He is also known for writing films such as Gremlins (1984) and The Goonies (1985).

Michael Barnathan is an American film producer who has produced and executive-produced films such as The Help, Used People, the first three Harry Potter films, Rent, Cheaper by the Dozen and Night at the Museum. He was also a producer for the 2010 film adaptation Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and 2013 Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, based on the novels by Rick Riordan.

Contents

Plot

Two years after the events of the first film, Larry Daley, former night guard at the American Museum of Natural History, now runs his own direct response television company that sells inventions based on his experiences. He travels to the museum, discovering most of the exhibits will be moved to the Federal Archives at the Smithsonian Institution and replaced with holographic information providers. The Tablet of Ahkmenrah is to remain in the museum, leaving most of the exhibits without the ability to come to life at night. After the exhibits are moved, Larry receives a phone call from Jedediah, who informs him that Dexter the monkey stole the tablet and took it to the Smithsonian, bringing every exhibit in it to life. Larry travels to Washington, DC, navigating his way to the archives with help from his son Nick while posing as a night guard.

American Museum of Natural History Natural history museum in New York City

The American Museum of Natural History, located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York City, is one of the largest natural history museums in the world. Located in Theodore Roosevelt Park across the street from Central Park, the museum complex comprises 28 interconnected buildings housing 45 permanent exhibition halls, in addition to a planetarium and a library. The museum collections contain over 33 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human remains, and human cultural artifacts, of which only a small fraction can be displayed at any given time, and occupies more than 2 million square feet. The museum has a full-time scientific staff of 225, sponsors over 120 special field expeditions each year, and averages about five million visits annually.

Direct response television (DRTV) is any television advertising that asks consumers to respond directly to the company — usually either by calling a toll-free telephone number, sending an SMS message, or by visiting a web site. This is a form of direct response marketing.

Smithsonian Institution Group of museums and research centers administered by the United States government

The Smithsonian Institution, also known simply as the Smithsonian, is a group of museums and research centers administered by the Government of the United States. It was founded on August 10, 1846 "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge". The institution is named after its founding donor, British scientist James Smithson. Originally organized as the "United States National Museum," that name ceased to exist as an administrative entity in 1967.

Larry finds his friends trapped in their shipping container under attack from Ahkmenrah's evil older brother Kahmunrah, accidentally activating the tablet and bringing the exhibits in the Smithsonian to life again. Kahmunrah reveals his plans to use the tablet's powers to conquer the world. Larry escapes, aided by a gigantic octopus and General George A. Custer, who is captured, and then the adventurous Amelia Earhart, who becomes his travelling companion around the museum. The two evade Kahmunrah's army, trapping them in the portrait of V-J Day in Times Square. Kahmunrah enlists fellow evil historical leaders, Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Al Capone to help capture Larry and retrieve the tablet. Jedediah tries to help but is placed in an hourglass. Kahmunrah is unable to open the Gate of the Underworld with the tablet, and gives Larry and Amelia an hour to translate it, or Kahmunrah will kill Larry and his friends. Larry and Amelia's friendship increases to the point where she develops a crush on him and ends up kissing him with the "Gods of Love" flying cherubs singing to them, including "My Heart Will Go On".

A shipping container is a container with strength suitable to withstand shipment, storage, and handling. Shipping containers range from large reusable steel boxes used for intermodal shipments to the ubiquitous corrugated boxes. In the context of international shipping trade, "container" or "shipping container" is virtually synonymous with "intermodal freight container," a container designed to be moved from one mode of transport to another without unloading and reloading.

Amelia Earhart American aviation pioneer and author

Amelia Mary Earhart was an American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She received the United States Distinguished Flying Cross for this accomplishment. She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots. In 1935, Earhart became a visiting faculty member at Purdue University as an advisor to aeronautical engineering and a career counselor to women students. She was also a member of the National Woman's Party and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.

<i>V-J Day in Times Square</i> Photograph

V-J Day in Times Square is a photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt that portrays a U.S. Navy sailor grabbing and kissing a stranger—a woman in a white dress—on Victory over Japan Day in New York City's Times Square on August 14, 1945. The photograph was published a week later in Life magazine, among many photographs of celebrations around the United States that were presented in a twelve-page section titled "Victory Celebrations". A two-page spread faces three other kissing poses among celebrators in Washington, D.C.; Kansas City; and Miami opposite Eisenstaedt's, which was given a full-page display. Kissing was a favorite pose encouraged by media photographers of service personnel during the war, but Eisenstaedt was photographing a spontaneous event that occurred in Times Square soon before the announcement of the end of the war with Japan was made by U.S. President Harry S. Truman at seven o'clock.

Larry and Amelia travel to the National Air and Space Museum to find help, briefly encountering the statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial. Inside the museum, Larry grounds all of the aircraft and rockets from taking off, before a group of Albert Einstein bobbleheads inform him that the combination is the value of pi. Amelia tries to convince Larry for them to be a couple, but Larry struggles to tell her the truth that she is made of wax, so they can't be together. Napoleon, Ivan, and Capone's troops arrive, prompting Larry and Amelia to escape using the Wright Flyer. They crash the plane into the Smithsonian, where Kahmunrah uses the acquired combination to summon an army of bird-headed warriors. Lincoln crashes in through the window, frightening the warriors back into the Underworld.

National Air and Space Museum Aviation museum in Washington, D.C.

The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, also called the Air and Space Museum, is a museum in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1946 as the National Air Museum and opened its main building on the National Mall near L'Enfant Plaza in 1976. In 2018, the museum saw approximately 6.2 million visitors, making it the fifth most visited museum in the world, and the second most visited museum in the United States. The museum contains the Apollo 11 command module, the Friendship 7 capsule which was flown by John Glenn, Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, the Bell X-1 which broke the sound barrier, the model of the starship Enterprise used in the science fiction television show Star Trek: The Original Series, and the Wright brothers' airplane near the entrance.

<i>Abraham Lincoln</i> (1920 statue) statue at the Lincoln Memorial

Abraham Lincoln (1920) is a colossal seated figure of United States President Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865) sculpted by Daniel Chester French (1850–1931) and carved by the Piccirilli Brothers. It is situated in the Lincoln Memorial, on the National Mall, Washington, D.C., USA, and was unveiled in 1922. Stylistically, the work follows in the Beaux Arts and American Renaissance traditions.

Lincoln Memorial American national monument

The Lincoln Memorial is an American national memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the western end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., across from the Washington Monument. The architect was Henry Bacon; the designer of the primary statue – Abraham Lincoln, 1920 – was Daniel Chester French; the Lincoln statue was carved by the Piccirilli Brothers; and the painter of the interior murals was Jules Guerin. Dedicated in May 1922, it is one of several memorials built to honor an American president. It has always been a major tourist attraction and since the 1930s has been a symbolic center focused on race relations.

Amelia gathers an army of allies including Larry's friends and Custer, leading to a climactic battle. But Custer is afraid to fight after remembering the Battle of Little Big Horn. Larry persuades him to forget the past and fight on. Meanwhile, Octavius rescues Jedediah; and together they turn the tide of the battle. Larry obtains the tablet, and devises a plan to stop Kahmunrah. Inspired by an idea given to him by Lincoln, Larry sparks a disagreement between Capone, Bonaparte and Ivan, causing them to brawl amongst themselves. Larry attempts to escape, only to be cut off by an angry Kahmunrah, brandishing a Khopesh. After a brief scuffle between Larry, armed with his flashlight, and Kahmunrah, Amelia eventually manages to use the tablet to open the gate, and Larry finally defeats Kahmunrah, banishing him to the Underworld.

Khopesh is an Egyptian sickle-sword that evolved from battle axes.

Amelia flies Larry and the New York exhibits back home. Even though Larry does love Amelia, they both know she has to be taking off in her plane, knowing she will become dust before reaching the Smithsonian. However, the two share a final kiss before she takes off.

Two months later, Larry sells his company, donating the money to the museum to renovate it, and the exhibits remain, capable of moving about at night under the pretense of being animatronics. Larry is rehired as a night guard and aids a woman who resembles Amelia during the debut of the museum's new extension of visiting hours.

In a post-credits sequence the sailor Larry met in the VJ Day photograph, Joey Motorola, reverse-engineers the mobile phone Larry left behind. As his mother calls him to dinner, he claims that he's "on to something."

Cast

Owen Wilson, Amy Adams and Ben Stiller at a panel for the film in May 2009. WilsonAdamsStillerMay09.jpg
Owen Wilson, Amy Adams and Ben Stiller at a panel for the film in May 2009.

Humans

Exhibits

Others

Exhibits at the Smithsonian

Artwork

Production

Development

Writers Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon confirmed to Dark Horizons that they were writing a sequel to Night at the Museum, originally with the tentative title Another Night at the Museum. The writers said that "there'll be existing characters and plenty of new ones."

20th Century Fox announced that the sequel, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, would be released during Memorial Day weekend in 2009. Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais, Patrick Gallagher, Jake Cherry, Rami Malek, Mizuo Peck, Brad Garrett and Robin Williams would return for the sequel, with Shawn Levy returning as director.

The film was mostly filmed in Vancouver and Montreal with some scenes filmed in the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.. [2] A scene was shot at the Lincoln Memorial on the night of May 21, 2008. Scenes were also shot at the American Museum of Natural History in New York on August 18 and 20, 2008.

The trailer was released with Bedtime Stories , Yes Man and Marley & Me in December 2008. The trailer accompanied the film Bride Wars in January, The Pink Panther 2 in February, and Dragonball Evolution in April 2009. The film was also promoted as an opening skit on American Idol, where a replica of the Idol judge seats are being held at the real Smithsonian Institution.

An alternate ending included on the DVD and Blu-ray releases featured the return of Dick Van Dyke as Cecil Fredericks, Bill Cobbs as Reginald, and Mickey Rooney as Gus.

Night at the Museum label on the Wright Flyer exhibit in the National Air and Space Museum. Night at the museum label.JPG
Night at the Museum label on the Wright Flyer exhibit in the National Air and Space Museum.

Filmmakers loaned the Smithsonian Institution props used in the movie which were displayed in the Smithsonian Castle including the pile of artifacts featured in the film. [3] The Smithsonian also made a brochure available online and at museum visitor service desks outlining where to find artifacts. [4]

As of 2009, numerous artifacts which inspired the movie were on display at Smithsonian Museums along the National Mall. Many of the artifacts are labeled with "Night at the Museum" logos. [4]

  1. Able the space monkey
  2. Lunar rover
  3. Lunar Module
  4. 1903 Wright Flyer
  5. Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega
  6. Medal belonging to Tuskegee Airmen
  7. Supermarine Spitfire
  8. F-104 Starfighter
  1. Messerschmitt 262
  1. Gigantic octopus
  2. Moai
  3. Tyrannosaurus
  1. Oscar the Grouch puppet
  2. George Armstrong Custer's fringed jacket
  3. Muhammad Ali's boxing gloves
  4. Theodore Roosevelt's chaps
  5. Archie Bunker's chair from the television sitcom All in the Family
  6. Theodore Roosevelt's teddy bear
  7. Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz

Gift shops at the Smithsonian also sell a replica of the Einstein Bobble-head, created specifically as a tie-in to the movie.

Music

Alan Silvestri returned to score the sequel. [5] [6]

Night At the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Film score by
Alan Silvestri
Released19 May 2009 (2009-05-19)
Recorded2008
Genre Film score
Length49:51
Label Varèse Sarabande

Track listing

Varèse Sarabande issued the score on May 19, 2009. [7]

All tracks written by Alan Silvestri.

Night At the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
No.TitleLength
1."Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian"02:38
2."Daley Devices"00:36
3."This Night is Their Last"04:35
4."To Washington"00:37
5."Getting Past Security"01:49
6."Finding Jed and the Others"03:16
7."I Have Come Back to Life"01:04
8."The Tablet"03:25
9."I Smell Adventure"04:31
10."He Doesn't Have All Night"01:46
11."The Adventure Continues"03:25
12."Octavius Attacks"01:22
13."Entering the Air & Space Museum"01:32
14."Escape in Wright Flyer"03:29
15."Got the Combination"02:19
16."Gate to the Underworld"01:02
17."I Ride the Squirrel"01:25
18."On Your Toes"01:54
19."The Battle"01:44
20."Divide the House"01:28
21."Victory is Ours"01:19
22."Goodbye"02:43
23."Museum Open Late"02:02
Total length:49:51
Sample credits [8]

Release

A trailer of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian was released on December 19, 2008. [9] The film premiered on May 14, 2009 in Washington, D.C.. The film released in UK on May 20, 2009, on May 22, 2009 in United States, and in Japan on August 12, 2009. [10]

Reception

Box office

At the end of its box office run, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian earned a gross of $177 million in North America and $236 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $413 million against a budget of $150 million. [1]

On Friday, May 22, 2009, its opening day, the film's estimated gross was $16 million, for second day the film grossed $20 million and for third day the gross was $19 million, coming in ahead of Terminator Salvation (which released on Thursday) in 4,096 theaters at No. 1, reaching up to $54.1 million, with a $13,226 per-theater average over the Memorial Day weekend. [11] By comparison, Night at the Museum reached up to $30 million on its opening weekend in December 2006. For its second weekend, the film grossed $24.35 million, for third weekend $14.6 million. [12]

For the opening weekend of May 22, 2009 the film grossed $49 million while playing in theaters of 56 territories; the film debuted in UK ($6.6 million), Russia ($5.23 million) and France ($5.05 million). [13] The largest market in other territories being UK, Japan, Germany, Australia and France where the film grossed $32.8 million, $21.49 million, $18.78 million, $14.03 million and $13.3 million. [14]

Critical reaction

Like its predecessor, the sequel has received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 44% "rotten" approval rating, based on 163 reviews, with an average score of 5.1/10, making it just barely the highest reviewed film of the series. The site's critical consensus reads, "Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian is busy enough to keep the kids interested but the slapstick goes overboard and the special effects (however well executed) throw the production into mania". [15] Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, gave the film an average score of 42 out of 100 based on 31 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews". [16]

Despite mixed reviews from critics, most critics praised Amy Adams' and Hank Azaria's performances. Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune awarded the film 3 stars stating that "[Adams]'s terrific -- a sparkling screen presence." [17] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B+ stating "Battle of the Smithsonian has plenty of life. But it's Adams who gives it zing." [18] Also, many reviews noted the costume worn by Amy Adams during the movie. [19] Perry Seibert of TV Guide gave the film 2 stars despite honoring that "thanks to Azaria, a master of comic timing. His grandiose, yet slightly fey bad guy is equally funny when he's chewing out minions as he is when deliberating if Oscar the Grouch and Darth Vader are evil enough to join his team. [20] Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter and A.O. Scott of The New York Times enjoyed both performances. [21] [22]

One critic panned the movie on its excessive use of special effects as noted by Scott Tobias of The A.V. Club when he described the film as "a baffling master plot and a crowded pileup of special effects in search of something to do." [23] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times awarded the film 1½ stars out of 4 claiming "its premise is lame, its plot relentlessly predictable, its characters with personalities that would distinguish picture books." [24]

In CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend, cinema audiences gave Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale. [25]

Awards and honors

List of awards and nominations
YearAward / Film FestivalCategoryRecipient(s)ResultRef.
2009 Teen Choice Award Choice Movie: Comedy Night at the Museum: Battle of the SmithsonianWon [26]
Choice Movie Actor: Comedy Ben StillerNominated
Choice Movie Actress: Comedy Amy AdamsNominated
Choice Movie: Villain Hank AzariaNominated
2010 MTV Movie Award Best Comedic Performance Ben StillerNominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Family MovieNight at the Museum: Battle of the SmithsonianNominated
Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Models and Miniatures in a Feature Motion Picture Ian Hunter, Forest Fischer, Robert Chapin, Tony Chen for the "National Air and Space Museum Escape"Nominated

Home media

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian was made available December 1, 2009 on DVD and Blu-ray as a two-disc Special Edition and a three-disc Digital Copy Edition. [27]

As of 12 February 2015, the film has sold 4,083,829 DVDs and 585,023 Blu-ray discs grossing $51,481,903 and $11,674,546 totalling $63,156,449 in North America. [28]

In other media

Video game

The video game based on the film was released on May 5, 2009. It was fairly well received in comparison to the majority of film-based video-games, netting a 7.5 out of 10 from IGN.com.

Sequel

Ben Stiller admitted that a sequel was "a possibility" and on January 22, 2010, co-writer Thomas Lennon said to Access Hollywood , "That after the success of two Night at the Museum films, it's no surprise that 20th Century Fox is looking to develop a third and that those suspicions are indeed true and how could you not? I think it's a really outstanding idea to do Night at the Museum 3, in fact," he said. "I wonder if someone's not even already working on a script for that," he added with a raised eyebrow. "I cannot confirm that for a fact, but I cannot deny it for a fact either... It might be in the works." In an interview, Stiller confirmed the sequel, however, he said that it was only in the "ideas stage". [29]

It was announced in February 2013 that the film, directed by Shawn Levy, would be released on December 25, 2014. [30] On September 10, 2013, it was announced that shooting would start in February 2014. [31] On November 8, 2013, English actor Dan Stevens was cast as Sir Lancelot. [32] On November 15, 2013, it was announced Skyler Gisondo would be replacing Jake Cherry for the role of Nicky Daley. [33] On December 18, 2013 it was announced that Robin Williams, Stiller, and Ricky Gervais would be returning for the sequel. [34] On January 9, 2014, it was announced that Rebel Wilson would play a security guard in the British Museum. [35] On January 14, 2014, the film's release date was moved up from December 25, 2014, to December 19, 2014. [36] On January 23, 2014, it was announced Ben Kingsley would play an Egyptian Pharaoh at the British Museum. [37] Principal photography and production began on January 27, 2014. [38] In May 2014, principal photography ended. [39]

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Night at the Museum is a trilogy of fantasy-comedy films beginning in 2006 and ending in 2014. All three films, based on the children's book The Night at the Museum by Milan Trenc, are directed by Shawn Levy and written by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon. Starring Ben Stiller as a museum night security guard named Larry, the films also star an ensemble cast featuring Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, Ricky Gervais, Steve Coogan, Patrick Gallagher, Rami Malek, Mizuo Peck, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs and Dick Van Dyke.

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