Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
|Night at the Museum:
Secret of the Tomb
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Shawn Levy|
|Produced by||Shawn Levy
|Screenplay by||David Guion
|Story by||Mark Friedman
by Thomas Lennon
Robert Ben Garant
|Music by||Alan Silvestri|
|Edited by||Dean Zimmerman|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$299.6 million|
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (also known as Night at the Museum 3 or Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb) is a 2014 American comedy film directed by Shawn Levy and written by David Guion and Michael Handelman. It is the sequel to the 2006 film Night at the Museum and the 2009 film Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. The film stars Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Dan Stevens and Ben Kingsley. The film was released on December 19, 2014, by 20th Century Fox. It is the third and final installment of the trilogy. The film is dedicated to both Robin Williams and Mickey Rooney, as both actors died before the film's release.
In 1938, in Egypt a team of archaeologists are digging into a tomb to look for a valuable artifact. A young boy falls through a hole that leads his father and the others to what they came for - the tablet of Ahkmenrah. Several local men see the tablet and say that if the archaeologists remove it, then "the end will come".
In the present day in New York City, Larry Daley is overseeing a nighttime event at the Museum of Natural History with Dr. McPhee in attendance. Larry gathers the favorite exhibits, including Theodore Roosevelt, Attila the Hun, Sacagawea, Dexter the Capuchin Monkey, and Rexy the Tyrannosaurus skeleton. Elsewhere, Jedediah and Octavius are watching a cat video on YouTube.
Larry meets a new wax figure Neanderthal named Laa who was modeled to look like Larry as a joke. Ahkmenrah had earlier alerted Larry to the fact that the tablet is starting to corrode, causing all the exhibits to act abnormally. The corrosion causes chaos during the event, with the attendees having to flee from dangers caused by the affected exhibits. When Larry returns home, he catches his son Nicky throwing a party for which he is serving as the DJ. Nicky tells Larry that he does not intend to apply to college, wanting to take time to pursue being a DJ and to figure out what he wants to do with his life.
Larry researches the tablet and learns that Cecil Fredericks, the former museum security guard that tried to steal the tablet for himself, was the boy present at the discovery of the tablet. Larry finds Cecil in a retirement home along with his cohorts Gus and Reginald. Larry explains to Cecil what is happening and he recalls "the end will come" prophecy, realizing it was not an "end of the world" prophecy but a reference to an end to the magic. He suggests that they consult Ahkmenrah's parents, who are in the British Museum. Larry later goes to Dr. McPhee, who is in the process of being fired, and convinces him to call the British Museum and allow Larry to travel there with Ahkmenrah and the tablet.
Larry and Nicky travel to London to get to the British Museum. They meet the security guard of that museum, Tilly, who lets them through the gate. When Larry gets into the museum, he sees that Laa, Teddy, Sacagawea, Attila, Dexter, Jed, and Octavius have all stowed away to join on the adventure. The Tablet brings the British exhibits to life and the gang encounters a Triceratops skeleton which chases them. They are saved by Sir Lancelot. Unfortunately, the gang has lost Jed and Octavius; they discover that they have fallen into the ventilation chambers. Larry sends Dexter into the ventilation with Nicky's cell phone attached to his waist to find Jed and Octavius. Jed and Octavius land on a Pompeii exhibit just before it erupts. The gang fights off a nine-headed Xiangliu statue, which Larry defeats using a defibrillator. Meanwhile, Dexter urinates on the lava to save Jed and Octavius.
The gang finds the tombs of Ahkmenrah's parents, Merenkahre and Shepseheret. Merenkahre is at first hesitant to reveal the truth behind the Tablet, but he eventually admits that it was a gift made for his son when he was a baby to keep the family together always. Endowed with the power of Khonsu, the tablet needs moonlight to retain its magic.
Lancelot steals the tablet, thinking it to be the Holy Grail and then leaves to find Guinevere. The tablet continues to corrode, causing Teddy's hands to return to wax and Ahkmenrah to age. The gang splits up to find Lancelot and regain the tablet, but Larry is caught by Tilly, who then locks Larry and Laa in the security room. There, Larry starts to think about his relationship with Nicky. Laa eventually smashes the glass of the door with his head to free Larry and himself. Larry and the gang continue to search for Lancelot again, but are cornered by the Trafalgar Square lion statues. Larry distracts them with a flashlight like in the cat video Jed and Octavius had previously watched on YouTube.
Lancelot has made his way to a local theater showing a Camelot production starring Hugh Jackman as King Arthur and Alice Eve as Guinevere. Sir Lancelot runs onstage with the tablet and tries to convince "Guinevere" to join him. The actors eventually convince Lancelot that they are actors, upsetting Lancelot and causing him to take a lighted torch from the stage and run to the roof. Larry and the gang chase Lancelot and attempt to get him to adjust the tablet appropriately in order for the moonlight to restore it. Larry convinces Lancelot to give him back the tablet to save his friends once the other exhibits all return to their lifeless state due to the corrosion of the tablet. Larry then adjusts the tablet and it is restored by the moon, reanimating Teddy, Dexter, and the rest.
Larry returns the tablet to Merenkahre after the New York exhibits explain that they believe the tablet and the pharaohs should stay together. On the way out, Larry catches Tilly and Laa in a romantic moment. As they leave, Larry tells Tilly that, starting the next day, she will have the greatest job in the world. Back in New York, the exhibits accept their fate and say goodbye to Larry.
Three years later, a British Museum treasures exhibition event is happening at the American Museum of Natural History. Tilly shows up to McPhee's office with a box. McPhee explains that Larry left the museum and went on to become a teacher, after taking the blame for what happened when the exhibits went ballistic, granting McPhee his job back. Tilly opens the box and takes out the tablet. She brings Dr. McPhee to show him all the exhibits coming to life, including some new light displays. The exhibits then have a party.
Outside, Larry pauses on the sidewalk to see the flashing lights from inside the museum; as he watches, he smiles.
- Ben Stiller as Larry Daley, a security guard at the American Museum of Natural History.
- Stiller also plays Laa, a Neanderthal who resembles Larry.
- Robin Williams as Theodore Roosevelt, the wax statue of the 26th President of the United States.
- Owen Wilson as Jedediah, a cowboy minifigure.
- Steve Coogan as Octavius, a Roman soldier minifigure.
- Ricky Gervais as Dr. McPhee, the curator of the Museum of Natural History.
- Dan Stevens as Sir Lancelot, a knight who worked for King Arthur that seeks to use the Tablet of Ahkmenrah to impress Guinevere.
- Rebel Wilson as Tilly, a shocked security guard who comes across surprising after-hours activity.
- Skyler Gisondo as Nicky Daley, the son of Larry Daley who is working to become a DJ.
- Rami Malek as Ahkmenrah, the pharaoh who is the son of Merenkahre.
- Patrick Gallagher as Attila the Hun
- Mizuo Peck as Sacagawea
- Ben Kingsley as Merenkahre, Ahkmenrah's father who is a powerful pharaoh and the tablet's creator.
- Dick Van Dyke as Cecil Fredericks, a retired security guard and old enemy of Larry who now resides in a retirement home.
- Percy Hynes-White as C.J. Fredericks (Cecil Fredricks as a Young Boy in the prologue)
- Mickey Rooney as Gus, a retired security guard and old enemy of Larry who now resides in a retirement home.
- Bill Cobbs as Reginald, a retired security guard and old enemy of Larry who now resides in a retirement home.
- Andrea Martin as Rose, an archivist.
- Rachael Harris as Madeline Phelps
- Brennan Elliott as Robert Fredericks, Cecil Fredricks's Father in the prologue.
- Kerry van der Griend as Neanderthal #1
- Matthew Harrison as Neanderthal #2
- Jody Racicot as Neanderthal #3
- Randy Lee as Hun #1
- Darryl Quon as Hun #2
- Paul Chih-Ping Cheng as Hun #3
- Gerald Wong as Hun #4
- Anjali Jay as Shepseheret, the mother of Ahkmenrah & wife of Merenkahre.
- Matty Finochio as Roman Sentry
- Hugh Jackman as himself, an actor on the West End who was playing King Arthur at the time.
- Alice Eve as herself, an actress on the West End who was playing Guinevere at the time.
- Crystal the Monkey as Dexter, a Capuchin monkey.
- Robin Williams as Garuda Artifact, an artifact at the British Museum.
- Brad Garrett as Easter Island Head
- Regina Taufen as New York Reporter
On January 21, 2010, co-writer Thomas Lennon said to Access Hollywood, "I think it's a really outstanding idea to do Night at the Museum 3, in fact. I wonder if someone's not even already working on a script for that. I cannot confirm that for a fact, but I cannot deny it for a fact either... It might be in the works." In an October 2011 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Stiller confirmed the sequel, however, he said that it was only in the "ideas stage". It was announced in February 2013 that the film, directed by Shawn Levy, would be released on December 25, 2014. On September 10, 2013, it was announced that shooting would start in February 2014.
On November 8, 2013, actor Dan Stevens was cast as Lancelot. On November 15, 2013, it was announced Skyler Gisondo would be replacing Jake Cherry in the role of Nicky Daley. On December 18, 2013, it was announced that Stiller, Robin Williams and Ricky Gervais would be returning for the sequel. On January 9, 2014, it was announced that Rebel Wilson would play a security guard in the British Museum. On January 14, 2014, the film's release date was moved up from December 25, 2014, to December 19, 2014. On January 23, 2014, it was announced Ben Kingsley would play an Egyptian Pharaoh at the British Museum. Principal photography and production began on January 27, 2014. On May 6, 2014, it was announced that the film would be titled Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. In May 2014, principal photography ended.
As of Jan. 25, 2015, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb has grossed $108,597,968 in North America, and $191,000,000 in other territories, for a worldwide total of $299,597,968 against a budget of $127 million.
The film was released in North America on December 19, 2014 across 3,785 theatres. Early analysts and projectors predicted that the film could earn $25 - $28 million in its opening weekend. On its opening day, the film earned $5.6 million placing at number three at the box office. The film underperformed expectations during its opening weekend earning $17.1 million which was relatively lower than the openings of the original film ($30 million) and its sequel ($54.1 million) and debuted at #2 behind Warner Bros' The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. According to 20th Century Fox, the movie's audience was evenly split between male with 51% and 54% under the age of 25. In CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend, cinema audiences gave Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale. Fox distribution chief Chris Aronson cited that the reason was attributed to the downtrum of the box office but suggested that the film would be able to pick up steam as young students get out of school.
The film began its international rollout the same weekend as the North American premiere and earned $10.4 million from 27 markets in its opening weekend debuting at #3 behind at the box office behind The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and Penguins of Madagascar. Deadline.com however reported a different opening of $10.93 million from 29 international markets. Nevertheless the film would still peak at #3 going with any of the two figures. The film expanded to an additional 40 markets in its second week and grossed $31.2 million. It topped the box office outside North America in its fourth weekend with a total gross of $46.2 million with the exceptional help from China where it opened at #1 with $26 million.
The highest openings came from Mexico ($5.85 million), Brazil ($3.1 million), Malaysia ($3.07 million), the UK ($3 million), Australia ($2.8 million), Germany ($2.1 million) and Singapore ($2 million).
For the weekend of January 16, 2015, the film grossed $17.8 million, which includes a $3.9 million debut in South Korea. So far, the film grossed $178 million in other territories.
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb has received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 49% approval rating, based on 97 reviews, with an average score of 5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "While not without its moments, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is a less-than-inspired sendoff for the trilogy." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 47 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews" from critics.
Scott Foundas of Variety gave the film a positive review praising the visual effects, calling the production values "topnotch", and admiring Guillermo Navarro's work. He added, "A most enjoyable capper to director Shawn Levy and producer Chris Columbus’ cheerfully silly and sneakily smart family-entertainment juggernaut... offers little in the way of secrets of surprises, but should add much holiday cheer to Fox’s box-office coffers." Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film three stars out of five and said, "The third part in what absolutely no one is calling the Night at the Museum 'trilogy' turns out to be a good-natured and entertainingly surreal panto fantasy." Glenn Kenny awarded the film 2½ stars out of 4 praising the Indiana Jones themed-set while criticizing the performances of the cast and said, "As talent-packed as any Night at the Museum picture may be—in this third installment... —one doesn’t come to a movie of this sort expecting anybody’s best work. Or at least one certainly shouldn’t, because it won’t materialize." Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice gave the film a positive review, saying "The third installment, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb may be the best, and even the generally wound-too-tight Ben Stiller - once again playing a bemused Museum of Natural History guard - is easy to tolerate." Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "Where the previous films felt frenetic and forced, this outing feels breezier, more enjoyable and less contrived." Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News gave the film three out of five stars, saying "There's a serenity to museum visits, especially if it's a place you know and love. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, amazingly, recaptures that feeling in big-studio franchise form."
Bill Goodykoontz of The Arizona Republic gave the film two out of five stars, saying "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is a rather lackluster affair, a cash grab that tries to aim a little higher but confuses sappy shortcuts with real emotion." Joe McGovern of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B, saying "It's kind of fun, unembarrassingly, and not least of all because the people who made it look like they had a good time doing so." Tom Long of The Detroit News gave the film a B, saying "There are some key elements that make this Night at the Museum sequel work better than its predecessor." Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger gave the film two out of four stars, saying "The exhibits in this Night at the Museum may still come to life nightly. But their latest movie stays stubbornly inert." Tom Russo of The Boston Globe gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "Seeing Ben Stiller, the late Robin Williams, and their magically roused gang together again, this time in London, is initially all about indulgent, nostalgic smiles rather than new wows. But then comes the movie’s exceptionally clever and fresh final act, which delivers genuine surprise along with many laughs." Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph gave the film three out of five stars, saying "The third Night at the Museum film starts strongly, with its heart in the past... It’s an exciting opening, and perhaps too exciting for the film’s own good. It’s hard not to be disappointed when the plot moves back to the present and settles into the time-honoured formula of digitised creatures running riot and famous people in fancy dress doing shtick." Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a negative review, saying "Despite relocating across the pond to the esteemed British Museum, the creaky Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb fails to capitalize on the comic potential provided by that change of venue."
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The A.V. Club gave the film a C+, saying "Secret of the Tomb plays it as a source of corny jokes, pop-culture references, and father-son bonding moments. In other words, it’s exactly the kind of film that shouldn’t be expected to engage with its assorted bizarre subtexts — but what a movie it could be if it did." Sara Stewart of the New York Post gave the film two out of four stars, saying "For piquing kids’ interest in history and nature, you could do worse than this goofy Ben Stiller franchise. But its third installment is more meh than manic, too reliant on wide shots of the ragtag Museum of Natural History cohorts striding down corridors. You get the feeling returning director Shawn Levy is ready to hang it up." Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film one and a half stars out of five, saying "The dialogue is schmaltzy and often painfully unfunny. The special effects are often so 1980s-bad, one wonders if it was a deliberate choice, to make the creepy visuals of sculptures dancing and paintings moving less frightening to young viewers. Time and again, terrific actors sink in the equivalent of cinematic quicksand, helpless against the sucking sound of this movie." Drew Hunt of Slant Magazine gave the film one out of four stars, saying "None of the entries in the Night at the Museum series could ever pass for high art, but a wealth of comedic talent gave the first two installments a madcap energy that somewhat forgave their childish premises. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, the third and supposedly final edition in the franchise, is nothing more than an uncomfortably transparent contractual obligation."
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- Official website
- Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb at the Internet Movie Database
- Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb at Box Office Mojo