Night at the Museum
Night at the Museum is a 2006 fantasy-comedy film directed by Shawn Levy and written by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon. It is based on the 1993 children's book of the same name by Croatian illustrator Milan Trenc and is the first film in the Night at the Museum series. The film stars Ben Stiller as Larry Daley, a divorced father who applies for a job as a night watchman at New York City's American Museum of Natural History and subsequently discovers that the exhibits, animated by a magical Egyptian artifact, come to life at night. 20th Century Fox released the film on December 22, 2006, and it grossed $574 million.
|Night at the Museum|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Shawn Levy|
|Based on||The Night at the Museum|
by Milan Trenc
|Music by||Alan Silvestri|
|Edited by||Don Zimmerman|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$574.5 million|
Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is a divorced man who has been unable to keep a stable job and has failed at many business ventures. His ex-wife (Kim Raver) believes that he is a bad example to their ten-year-old son Nick (Jake Cherry), and Larry fears that Nick respects his future stepfather, bond trader Don (Paul Rudd), more than him.
Cecil Fredricks (Dick Van Dyke), an elderly night security guard about to retire from the American Museum of Natural History, hires Larry despite his unpromising résumé. The museum, which is rapidly losing money, plans to replace Cecil and two colleagues Gus (Mickey Rooney) and Reginald (Bill Cobbs) with one guard. Cecil gives Larry an instruction booklet on how to handle museum security, and advises Larry to leave some of the lights on and warn him not to let anything "in...or out".
Once night falls, Larry discovers that the exhibits come to life, including a playful Tyrannosaurus skeleton nicknamed "Rexy" who behaves like a dog; a mischievous capuchin monkey named Dexter which steals Larry's keys and tears up his instruction booklet; rival miniature civilizations led by Old West cowboy Jedediah (Owen Wilson) and Roman general Octavius (Steve Coogan); limb-ripping Attila the Hun (Patrick Gallagher); an Easter Island Moai (Brad Garrett) obsessed with "gum-gum" who addresses Larry as Dum-Dum; and a wax model of Theodore Roosevelt (Robin Williams).
Roosevelt explains that since an Egyptian artifact—the Golden Tablet of Pharaoh Ahkmenrah—came to the museum in 1952, all of the exhibits come to life each night. If the exhibits are outside the museum during sunrise, however, they turn to dust. Roosevelt helps Larry by restoring order, but only for one night, and Larry decides to remain as a night guard.
When Larry tells Cecil about how Dexter tore up his instructions, Cecil advises him to study history to prepare himself for his nightly duties. He also learns history from a museum docent Rebecca Hutman (Carla Gugino), who is writing a dissertation on Sacagawea (Mizuo Peck), but does not feel she knows enough about her subject.
The next night, Larry uses what he has learned to better control the exhibits. However, things go wrong and four Neanderthals set fire to a display and some other things. One of the Neanderthal turns to dust when he leaves the museum at dawn. The next morning, museum director Dr. McPhee (Ricky Gervais) almost fires Larry after what happened to the Neanderthal exhibit. He offers Rebecca a meeting with Sacagawea, but she believes that he is mocking her and the museum.
Larry brings Nick to the museum to show him the exhibits, but none of them are alive. They find Cecil, Gus, and Reginald stealing the tablet and other valuable objects. Like the exhibits, the guards receive enhanced vitality from the artifact; wishing to retain their youth, health and to fund their retirements, the three plan to frame Larry for the thefts. They disable the tablet to stop the exhibits from interfering. Nick reactivates the artifact, but Cecil locks him and his father in the Egyptian room and flees with the tablet. Larry releases Ahkmenrah's mummy (Rami Malek) from his sarcophagus. The pharaoh speaks English from many years as an exhibit at Cambridge, and helps Larry and Nick escape. The three find the other exhibits fighting; Larry confronts Attila, realizing his behavior came from being hurt a long time ago, and convinces them to work together.
The exhibits capture Gus and Reginald without difficulty, but Cecil escapes by stagecoach with Larry, Nick, Ahkmenrah, Jed, Octavius, Rexy, and Atilla the Hun in pursuit in Central Park, where they stop him and regain the tablet. Jed and Octavius are presumably killed when their remote-controlled Hummer crashes, but they somehow survive. Rebecca sees the exhibits return to the museum before sunrise and realizes that Larry was telling the truth; he introduces her to Sacagawea.
Dr. McPhee fires Larry again after seeing news reports of the strange events around the museum—such as cave paintings in the museum's subway station, dinosaur footprints in Central Park, and cavemen sightings. However, upon seeing how much these events raised attendance, he thinks better of it and gives Larry his job back. Larry, Nick, and the exhibits celebrate.
During the credits, it was shown that Cecil, Gus and Reginald weren't handed over to the authorities and are now working as janitors at the museum.
- Ben Stiller as Larry Daley, a night-shift security guard at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
- Dick Van Dyke as Cecil Fredericks, a veteran security guard
- Carla Gugino as Rebecca Hutman, a museum docent
- Mickey Rooney as Gus, a veteran security guard
- Bill Cobbs as Reginald, a veteran security guard
- Jake Cherry as Nick Daley, Larry's son
- Ricky Gervais as Dr. McPhee, the curator of the Museum of Natural History and Larry's boss
- Kim Raver as Erica Daley, Larry's former wife and Nick's mother
- Charlie Murphy as the taxi-driver
- Paul Rudd as Don, Erica's fiancé
- Anne Meara as Debbie
- Robin Williams as a wax model of Theodore Roosevelt
- Patrick Gallagher as a wax model of Attila the Hun
- Rami Malek as the mummy of Pharaoh Ahkmenrah
- Pierfrancesco Favino as a bronze statue of Christopher Columbus
- Owen Wilson (uncredited) as Jedediah, a miniature cowboy figure
- Steve Coogan as Octavius, a miniature Roman general figure
- Mizuo Peck as a polyurethane model of Sacagawea
- Kerry van der Griend, Dan Rizzuto, Matthew Harrison, and Jody Racicot as wax models of neanderthals
- Martin Christopher as a wax model of Meriwether Lewis
- Martin Sims as a wax model of William Clark
- Randy Lee, Darryl Quon, Gerald Wong, and Paul Chih-Ping Cheng as wax models of the Huns
- Brad Garrett as the voice of the Easter Island Head
- Crystal the Monkey as Dexter, a stuffed capuchin monkey
The building featured in the film, which was constructed on a sound stage in Burnaby, British Columbia, is based on the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, external shots of which were used in the movie.
Trainers spent several weeks training Crystal, who plays the troublemaking monkey Dexter, to slap and bite Stiller in the film.
Director Shawn Levy credited Ben Stiller for the ensemble cast: "When actors hear that Ben Stiller is in a movie they want to work with him. It['s] a high-water mark and it absolutely draws actors in and I'm convinced that's a big part of why we got this cast."
- "Friday Night" - performed by McFly; not featured in American version of the film, but heard in some international cuts, used during the end credits. It can be heard on the American DVD on the Spanish dub.
- "September" - performed by Earth, Wind and Fire; used before the end credits where everyone in the museum is partying.
- "Weapon of Choice" - performed by Fatboy Slim; used in the scene where Larry returns to the museum for his second night and is preparing for the chaos.
- "Tonight" - performed by Keke Palmer and Cham; used for the end credits.
- "Eye of the Tiger" - performed by Ben Stiller; used in the scene where Larry is bored and messes around with the telephone at the front desk beatboxing the music.
- An instrumental version of "Mandy" by Barry Manilow is used when Larry is standing in the elevator, while escaping from Attila the Hun.
- "Ezekiel Saw Them Dry Bones" is the tune Larry whistles as he passes the empty T. rex exhibit on his first night.
- "Camptown Races" by Stephen Foster is sung by the townspeople of the American West miniature diorama. This is a period-correct song.
|Night at the Museum (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
|Film score by |
|Released||December 19, 2006|
All tracks written by Alan Silvestri.
|Night at the Museum (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
|1.||"Night at the Museum"||02:35|
|2.||"One of Those Days"||00:49|
|3.||"An Ordinary Guy?"||01:27|
|4.||"Tour of the Museum"||02:35|
|5.||"Civil War Soldiers"||04:08|
|6.||"Out of Africa"||01:07|
|10.||"West from Africa"||01:49|
|11.||"The Iron Horse"||01:06|
|12.||"Saved by Teddy"||01:57|
|13.||"Tablet of Akmenrah"||00:37|
|14.||"Tracking, Dear Boy"||01:08|
|15.||"Some Men Are Born Great"||00:50|
|17.||"Study Up on History"||02:15|
|18.||"Teddy Likes Sacagawea"||01:53|
|20.||"Caveman on Fire"||00:43|
|21.||"Outrun the Sun"||00:58|
|22.||"Show You What I Do"||02:55|
|24.||"Theodore Roosevelt at Your Service"||01:11|
|25.||"This Is Your Moment"||02:10|
|26.||"Rally the Troops"||01:07|
|27.||"Tree Take Down"||01:21|
|30.||"Teddy in Two"||01:18|
|34.||"A Great Man"||00:57|
Night at the Museum had its premiere in New York City on December 17 2006, on December 22, 2006 in the United States, December 26, 2006 in UK, January 12, 2007 in Brazil, on February 14, 2007 in China and on March 17, 2007 in Japan.
The film was released under the title of "Noche en el museo" in Spain, "Una note al museo" in Italy, "La nuit au musée" in France, "Ночь в музее" in Russia and "Uma Noite no Museu" in Brazil.
At the end of its box office run, Night at the Museum earned a gross of $250.9 million in the US and Canada and $323.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $574.5 million. It was the fifth highest-grossing film of 2006 and also the highest-grossing film worldwide of the trilogy.
It was the highest-grossing film in its opening weekend, grossing $30.8 million plating in 3,686 theaters, with a $8,258 per-theater average. For the four-day Christmas holiday weekend, it took in $42.2 million. The movie was also released in IMAX large screen format, often on site at museums of science or natural history such as the Pacific Science Center in Seattle.
In its second weekend, Night at the Museum expanded into 83 more theaters and took in approximately $36.7 million, out-grossing its opening weekend. It maintained the top position in its third week, with an additional $23.7 million.
During its opening weekend of December 15, 2006, the film grossed a figure of estimated $5 million, with the highest debut coming from South Korea ($5.04 million). The biggest market in the other territories were the UK, Japan, South Korea, and Germany, where it grossed $40.8 million, $30 million, $25.7 million, $22.9 million.
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 43% based on 132 reviews and an average rating of 5.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Parents might call this either a spectacle-filled adventure or a shallow and vapid CG-fest, depending on whether they choose to embrace this on the same level as their kids". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 48 out of 100 based on 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
James Berardinelli of Reelviews gave it 2 stars out of 4, and commented on Stiller's performance by stating "It might be fair to give Ben Stiller an 'A' for effort, but to call what he does in this movie "acting" is a misnomer. He does a lot of running around, occasionally falling down or bumping into things." One positive review by William Arnold of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, gave it a B-, and stated that the film was "Out to impress and delight a family audience with the pageantry of human and natural history, and that's a surprisingly worthy ambition for a Hollywood comedy." In a case of life imitating art, museum officials at the American Museum of Natural History have credited the film for increasing the number of visitors during the holiday season by almost 20%. According to a museum official, between December 22, 2006, and January 2, 2007, there were 50,000 more visitors than during the same period the prior year. CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend, cinema audiences gave the film an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.
|Saturn Awards||Best Fantasy Film||N/A||Nominated|
|ASCAP Award||Top Box Office Films||Alan Silvestri||Won|
|Artios||Best Feature Film Casting - Comedy||Ilene Starger
Coreen Mayrs (Vancouver casting)
Heike Brandstatter (Vancouver casting)
|Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Movie||N/A||Nominated|||
|MTV Movie Award||Best Comedic Performance||Ben Stiller||Nominated|
|National Movie Award||Best Comedy||N/A||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Award||Choice Movie: Comedy and Choice Movie Actor: Comedy||Ben Stiller||Nominated|
|Taurus Award||Hardest Hit||Greg Fitzpatrick||Nominated|||
|Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Actor Age Ten or Younger||Jake Cherry||Nominated|||
The first installment in the trilogy, Night at the Museum was followed by a sequel titled Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, which was released on May 22, 2009 in North America. The third and final installment, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, was released on December 19, 2014 in North America.
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- Classic Movies. "John Wayne: one last shot before the final farewell". Telegraph. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
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- Arnold, William (December 21, 2006). "SeattlePI.com". Shallow 'Museum' exhibits some appealing qualities. Retrieved January 7, 2007.
- "msnbc.com". Movie boosts Natural History Museum visits. Retrieved September 11, 2007.
- "Cinemascore". cinemascore.com/. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
- "UltimateDisney.com". Non-Disney films to be reviewed by Ultimate Disney. Retrieved April 20, 2007.
- "UltimateDisney.com". "Night at the Museum" at UltimateDisney.com. Retrieved April 24, 2007.
- "Night ath the Museum". the-numbers.com. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
- "2007 Host Nominee Release". Nickelodeon. February 7, 2007. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- "Taurus World Stunt Awards - Hardest Hit". World Stunt Awards. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
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- "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian". imdb.com. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
- "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb". comingsoon.net. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
- Rebecca Sun and Patrick Brzeski (April 25, 2016). "China's Alibaba Pictures to Remake 'Night at the Museum'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Night at the Museum|
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- Independentfilm.com video interview with Mizuo Peck who played Sacagawea