Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
|Night at the Museum:|
Battle of the Smithsonian
|Directed by||Shawn Levy|
|Based on||Characters created by|
Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon
The Night at the Museum by Milan Trenc
|Music by||Alan Silvestri|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$413.1 million|
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, or simply Night at the Museum 2, is a 2009 American fantasy action 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 in the lead role, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Hank Azaria, Christopher Guest, Alain Chabat, Jon Bernthal and Robin Williams. It is the second installment in the Night at the Museum series, following the original film. The film was released theatrically on May 22, 2009 by 20th Century Fox. Like its predecessor, it received mixed reviews and became a box office success by grossing over $413 million on a $150 million budget.
A live-action sequel, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb was released on December 19, 2014, while an animated direct sequel, Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again, is also scheduled to be released in 2022 for the streaming service Disney+, with Ricky Gervais, Wilson, Coogan, and Azaria reprising their respective roles, and David Hornsby replacing the late Williams.
Three 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 museum experiences. One day he stops by the museum. Dr. McPhee says that most exhibits are being moved to the Federal Archives at the Smithsonian Institution, being replaced with holographic information providers. Larry spends one last night with his exhibit friends. Shortly before dawn, Teddy Roosevelt tells Larry that the Tablet of Ahkmenrah would be staying as one of the only original exhibits at the museum, along with Teddy, Rexy, and Ahkmenrah himself. All of the other exhibits going to the Smithsonian (including the Huns, Neanderthals, miniatures, Sacagawea, and Dexter) would therefore lose the ability to come to life at night. After the exhibits are moved the following day, Larry surprisingly receives a phone call from Jedediah, who informs him that the monkey Dexter stole the tablet and took it to the Smithsonian, bringing the exhibits there to life as well. Hearing sounds of fighting and chaos as someone pulls Jed away from the phone, Larry travels to Washington, DC, and navigates his way to the archives while posing as a night guard, with external help from his son Nick.
As it is still daytime, Larry finds his friends trapped in their shipping container while under attack from the army of Ahkmenrah's evil older brother Kahmunrah. Larry attempts to pry the tablet out of Dexter's hands, but right as he gets it, the sun goes down, the tablet activates, and the exhibits in the Smithsonian come to life again. Kahmunrah locks Larry's friends in the shipping container and reveals his plans to use the tablet's powers to conquer the world. However, Larry escapes with the aid of a gigantic octopus and a wax model of General George A. Custer, although the latter is captured and imprisoned with Larry's friends.
Then, a wax model of the adventurous Amelia Earhart becomes Larry's travelling companion around the museum as they try to figure out a way to rescue the others. The two evade Kahmunrah's army, eventually trapping them in the photograph of V-J Day in Times Square. As they are chased into the photo, Amelia and Larry are separated. Amelia's clothes and style help her fit in, but Larry is left coverless. He cuts in on the sailor and kisses with the nurse, becoming the main subject of the photo.Amelia then takes Larry out of the photo.
Meanwhile, Kahmunrah enlists a trio of evil historical leaders — Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Al Capone — to help capture Larry and retrieve the tablet. Jedediah and Octavius escape the shipping container, but Jed is re-captured and placed in an hourglass while Octavius manages to make it outside. Kahmunrah is unable to open his Gate of the Underworld without the tablet, so he gives Larry and Amelia an hour to translate it, otherwise he will kill Larry and his friends, starting with Jed trapped in the hourglass. Larry and Amelia's friendship increases to the point where she develops a crush on him and ends up kissing him as three flying sculptures of Cupid look on while singing love songs. As Amelia kisses him, he wears a shocked expression. It subsides after a few moments, though. Larry is annoyed by the cupids, and confused about Amelia's actions. He doesn't know how to tell her she isn't real.
Larry and Amelia decide to go to the National Air and Space Museum to find help, briefly encountering the statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial, who confuses them for a couple. Meanwhile, Octavius makes it to the White House in an attempt to get help, but he is dragged away by a squirrel. Inside the Air and Space Museum, Larry has to ground all of the aircraft and rockets from taking off, before a group of Albert Einstein bobbleheads inform him that the combination he is looking for 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 cannot 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 Horus warriors. However, Octavius arrives and interrupts the process, having tamed the squirrel. Kahmunrah scoffs due to his small size, but then Octavius reveals that he did bring help as the statue of Lincoln crashes in through the window and frightens the warriors back into the Underworld. Lincoln cryptically reminds Larry that "a house divided against itself cannot stand," and then returns to the Memorial.
As a furious Kahmunrah orders his allies to kill Larry and Jed anyway, Amelia gathers an army of allies including Larry's friends, Custer, and the other museum exhibits they had encountered, leading to a climactic battle. At first, Kahmunrah's alliance is too powerful, and Larry finds Custer hiding behind a pile of treasure, ashamed that he led Larry's friends to another tragic defeat like the Battle of Little Big Horn. However, Larry persuades him to forget the past and fight for his new friends now. As Octavius rescues Jedediah, the tide of the battle starts to turn back in their favor. Larry obtains the tablet, and devises a plan to stop Kahmunrah. Inspired by Lincoln's quote, 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 yet dramatic scuffle between Kahmunrah and Larry, armed with his flashlight, Amelia eventually manages to use the tablet to open the gate, and Larry defeats Kahmunrah and banishes him into the Underworld.
Amelia flies Larry and the New York exhibits back home. Even though Larry does love Amelia, they both know she has to leave, or she will become dust before reaching the Smithsonian. She understands she can't be Larry's love interest because of this. 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 keep it open later into the night. All of the exhibits remain capable of moving about at night under the pretense of being animatronics or hired re-enactors. Larry is rehired as a night guard and aids a woman named Tess who resembles Amelia during the debut of the museum's new extension of visiting hours.
- Ben Stiller as Larry Daley, a security guard and Amelia’s love interest.
- Ricky Gervais as Dr. McPhee, the curator at the Museum of Natural History and Larry's boss.
- Jake Cherry as Nick Daley, the son of Larry Daley.
- Amy Adams as Tess, a young woman at the end of the movie who looks like Amelia Earhart.
- Mindy Kaling as Docent
- George Foreman as Himself
- Shawn Levy as Infomercial Father
- Ed Helms as Ed, Larry Daley's assistant
- Jonah Hill as Brandon (pronounced "Brundon"), a security guard at the Smithsonian
- Robin Williams as Theodore Roosevelt, the wax statue of the 26th President of the United States
- Williams also voices the bronze bust of Theodore Roosevelt.
- Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, and Larry's love interest
- Owen Wilson as Jedediah, a cowboy minifigure.
- Hank Azaria as Kahmunrah, a villainous pharaoh who is Ahkmenrah's older brother.
- Christopher Guest as Ivan the Terrible, the historic Tsar of Russia who allies with Kahmunrah.
- Alain Chabat as Napoleon Bonaparte, the leader of the First French Empire who allies with Kahmunrah.
- Jon Bernthal as young Al Capone, a photographic standee of the gangster and founder of the Chicago Outfit who allies with Kahmunrah.
- Steve Coogan as Octavius, a Roman soldier minifigure.
- Mizuo Peck as Sacagawea, the polyurethane model of the Lemhi Shoshone woman who is Theodore Roosevelt's girlfriend.
- Bill Hader as George Armstrong Custer, a military figure who Larry befriends.
- Rami Malek as Ahkmenrah, a mummy of a pharaoh who is the benevolent younger brother of Kahmunrah.
- Patrick Gallagher as Attila the Hun
- Brad Garrett as Easter Island Head (voice)
- Kerry van der Griend as Neanderthal #1
- Matthew Harrison as Neanderthal #2
- Rick Dobran as Neanderthal #3
- Randy Lee as Hun #1
- Darryl Quon as Hun #2
- Gerald Wong as Hun #3
- Paul Chih-Ping Cheng as Hun #4
- Jonas Brothers as the Cherubs
- Jay Baruchel as Joey Motorola, a sailor who resides in the V-J Day in Times Square photograph.
- Alberta Mayne as Greta Zimmer Friedman (Kissing Nurse)
- Eugene Levy as Albert Einstein Bobbleheads
- Keith Powell as Tuskegee Airman #1
- Craig Robinson as Tuskegee Airman #2
- Clint Howard as Air and Space Mission Control Tech #1
- Matty Finochio as Air and Space Mission Control Tech #2
- Thomas Lennon as Orville Wright
- Robert Ben Garant as Wilbur Wright
- Caroll Spinney as Oscar the Grouch, the famous Sesame Street character that tries to ally with Kahmunrah only to be dismissed because he classified him as "vaguely grouchy." This was his last film before his retirement from acting in 2018 and his death in 2019.
- Thomas Morley as Darth Vader, the famous Star Wars character that tries to ally with Kahmunrah only to be turned away because he classified him as "dark."
Exhibits at the Smithsonian
- Little Dancer of Fourteen Years
- Crying Girl
- American Gothic
- LOVE (sculpture)
- V-J Day in Times Square
- The Thinker
- Orange Balloon Dog
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. 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.
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. The Smithsonian also made a brochure available online and at museum visitor service desks outlining where to find artifacts.
- Able the space monkey
- Lunar rover
- Lunar Module
- 1903 Wright Flyer
- Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega
- Medal belonging to Tuskegee Airmen
- Supermarine Spitfire
- F-104 Starfighter
- Oscar the Grouch puppet
- George Armstrong Custer's fringed jacket
- Muhammad Ali's boxing gloves
- Theodore Roosevelt's chaps
- Archie Bunker's chair from the television sitcom All in the Family
- Theodore Roosevelt's teddy bear
- 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.
|Night At the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
|Film score by |
|Released||19 May 2009|
All tracks are written by Alan Silvestri.
|1.||"Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian"||02:38|
|3.||"This Night is Their Last"||04:35|
|5.||"Getting Past Security"||01:49|
|6.||"Finding Jed and the Others"||03:16|
|7.||"I Have Come Back to Life"||01:04|
|9.||"I Smell Adventure"||04:31|
|10.||"He Doesn't Have All Night"||01:46|
|11.||"The Adventure Continues"||03:25|
|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|
|20.||"Divide the House"||01:28|
|21.||"Victory is Ours"||01:19|
|23.||"Museum Open Late"||02:02|
- "Let's Groove" - performed by Earth, Wind & Fire; used in part during final scene before the end credits.
- "My Heart Will Go On" - normally performed by Celine Dion, is now sung by cherubs as Larry confess their love with Amelia.
- Sample credits
A trailer of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian was released on December 19, 2008. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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). 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.
Like its predecessor, the sequel has received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 45% "rotten" approval rating, based on 168 reviews, with an average score of 5.17/10. 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". 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".
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." 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." Also, many reviews noted the costume worn by Amy Adams during the movie. 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. Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter and A.O. Scott of The New York Times enjoyed both performances.
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." 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."
|Year||Award / Film Festival||Category||Recipient(s)||Result||Ref.|
|2009||Teen Choice Award||Choice Comedy Movie||Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian||Won|||
|Choice Comedy Movie Actor||Ben Stiller||Nominated|||
|Choice Comedy Movie Actress||Amy Adams||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Villain||Hank Azaria||Nominated|
|2010||MTV Movie Award||Best Comedic Performance||Ben Stiller||Nominated|
|People's Choice Awards||Favorite Family Movie||Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian||Nominated|
|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|
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.
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.
Ben Stiller admitted that a sequel was "a possibility" and on January 21, 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".
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, English actor Dan Stevens was cast as Sir Lancelot. On November 15, 2013, it was announced Skyler Gisondo would be replacing Jake Cherry for the role of Nicky Daley. On December 18, 2013 it was announced that Robin Williams, Stiller, 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. In May 2014, principal photography ended.
On August 6, 2019, following the purchase of 21st Century Fox and its assets by The Walt Disney Company, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that a fully animated sequel of Night at the Museum is in development. The project will be released as a Disney+ exclusive film, as a co-production between Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and 20th Century Studios.
In October 2020, the film was revealed to be a direct sequel Battle of the Smithsonian, and officially titled Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again, with production beginning on November 2, 2020, and Shawn Levy serving as executive producer. While the majority of the original cast were initially not expected to return, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, and Ricky Gervais were confirmed to be reprising their respective roles in February 2022, with David Hornsby taking over the role of Theodore Roosevelt from the late Robin Williams.
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|Wikiquote has quotations related to Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.|
- Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian at IMDb
- Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian at the TCM Movie Database
- Guide to Smithsonian museums displaying artifacts featured in the movie
- Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian at AllMovie
- Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian at Rotten Tomatoes
- Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian at Box Office Mojo