Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

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Night at the Museum:
Secret of the Tomb
Night at the Museum Secret of the Tomb poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Shawn Levy
Produced by Shawn Levy
Chris Columbus
Mark Radcliffe
Screenplay by David Guion
Michael Handelman
Story by Mark Friedman
David Guion
Michael Handelman
Based on Characters
by Thomas Lennon
Robert Ben Garant
Starring Ben Stiller
Robin Williams
Owen Wilson
Steve Coogan
Dan Stevens
Ben Kingsley
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Guillermo Navarro
Edited by Dean Zimmerman
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • December 11, 2014 (2014-12-11) (Ziegfeld Theatre)
  • December 19, 2014 (2014-12-19) (United States)
Running time
97 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $127 million[2]
Box office $360.4 million[2]

Night at the Museum: 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. It is the third and final installment of the Night at the Museum trilogy.[3]

In Secret of the Tomb, security guard Larry Daley must travel to London to return the tablet of Ahkmenrah, an Egyptian artifact which causes the exhibits to come to life, before the magic disappears. The film premiered on December 11, 2014 at New York City's Ziegfeld Theater and was released in the United States on December 19, 2014. Secret of the Tomb grossed over $360 million at the box office. Secret of the Tomb is dedicated to Mickey Rooney and Robin Williams, both of whom died months after the film's principal photography ended.

Plot[edit]

In 1938, in Egypt a team of archaeologists is searching for a tomb and its treasure. A young boy falls into it, calling to his father and the team; they discover a significant artifact, the tablet of Ahkmenrah. The locals tell them that if they remove the tablet, "the end will come".

In present-day New York City, night guard Larry Daley is overseeing an evening event at the American Museum of Natural History. Larry has gathered his favorite exhibits, which come to life every night, to help with the entertainment; they include Teddy Roosevelt, Attila the Hun, Sacagawea, Dexter the Monkey, diorama miniature cowboy Jed and miniature Roman centurion Octavius, and Pharaoh Ahkmenrah. Larry meets a new wax figure Neanderthal who calls himself Laaa. Pharaoh Ahkmenrah had earlier warned Larry that the tablet is corroding, which had been causing the exhibits to act abnormally. At the event, the exhibits get out of control and the attendees flee. When Larry gets home, he finds his son Nicky throwing a party. Nicky explains he doesn't intend to apply to college, wanting to take a year off to figure out what he wants to do with his life.

Larry researches the tablet and learns Cecil Fredericks, the former security guard who tried to steal the tablet in the first movie, was the boy from 1938 who helped discover it. Larry goes to Cecil’s retirement home and explains to Cecil what is happening at the museum. Cecil recalls the locals' warning that "the end will come”, realizing it was not an "end of the world" prophecy but a warning that the tablet's magic would end. He suggests that Larry consult Ahkmenrah's parents, who are in the British Museum.

Larry and Nicky travel to London to the museum, meeting the security guard, Tilly, who lets them in. When Larry enters, he sees that his favorite exhibits all stowed away to join in the adventure. The tablet brings the British exhibits to life and the gang encounters a Triceratops skeleton, which chases them. The exhibit Sir Lancelot saves them but Jed and Octavius fall into a ventilation shaft. Larry sends Dexter to find Jed and Octavius, who have fallen even more, landing in a Pompeii exhibit just before the model of the volcano Mount Vesuvius erupts. The others fight off a nine-headed Xiangliu statue and Dexter stops the volcano's flow to save Jed and Octavius.

The gang finds Ahkmenrah’s parents, and his father, Merenkahre, reveals the purpose and power of the tablet: it was made to keep his family together forever. The tablet is endowed with the power of Khonsu, god of the moon, and needs frequent exposure to moonlight to retain its magic. Lancelot steals the tablet, mistaking it for the Holy Grail, then leaves to find his Lady Guinevere. The tablet continues to corrode, which damages the New York exhibits and threatens their “lives”. The gang splits up to find Lancelot, but Tilly apprehends Larry and locks him and Laaa in the employee break room. Larry reflects upon his relationship with Nicky and then Laaa breaks them out. The gang leaves the museum to continue the search, but the Trafalgar Square lion statues corner them. Larry distracts the statues with his flashlight and the search continues.

Lancelot has arrived at a local theater showing a production of Camelot starring Hugh Jackman as King Arthur and Alice Eve as Guinevere. He runs onstage, trying to convince "Guinevere" to join him. The gang arrives soon after and convinces Lancelot he's mistaken, chasing him to the roof. Larry persuades Lancelot to give him back the tablet to save the other now lifeless exhibits. Larry adjusts the tablet and the moonlight restores it, reanimating the exhibits.

Larry returns the tablet to Merenkahre after the New York exhibits decide that the tablet and the pharaohs should stay together. As everyone parts ways, Larry tells Tilly that tomorrow night she will have the greatest job in the world. After returning to New York, the exhibits accept that they will permanently return to their inanimate state and they say goodbye to Larry.

Three years later, a traveling British Museum exhibition comes to the museum. Tilly gives the tablet to McPhee, whose job Larry had saved by taking the blame for the chaos at the evening event at the beginning of the film. She shows him that all the exhibits have come to life because of the tablet's power and are partying in the museum. Larry, who is walking by, pauses on the sidewalk to see the flashing lights of the party inside the museum and smiles.

Cast[edit]

Voices[edit]

Production[edit]

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."[9] In an October 2011 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Stiller confirmed the sequel, however, he said that it was only in the "ideas stage".[10] It was announced in February 2013 that the film, directed by Shawn Levy, would be released on December 25, 2014.[11] On September 10, 2013, it was announced that shooting would start in February 2014.[12]

On November 8, 2013, actor Dan Stevens was cast as Lancelot.[5] On November 15, 2013, it was announced Skyler Gisondo would be replacing Jake Cherry in the role of Nicky Daley.[6] On December 18, 2013, it was announced that Stiller, Robin Williams and Ricky Gervais would be returning for the sequel.[13] On January 9, 2014, it was announced that Rebel Wilson would play a security guard in the British Museum.[4] On January 14, 2014, the film's release date was moved up from December 25, 2014, to December 19, 2014.[14] On January 23, 2014, it was announced Ben Kingsley would play an Egyptian Pharaoh at the British Museum.[15] Principal photography and production began on January 27, 2014.[16][17] On May 6, 2014, it was announced that the film would be titled Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.[18] In May 2014, principal photography ended.[19]

Music[edit]

Alan Silvestri returns to score the final instalment of the trilogy.[20][21]

Night At the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Film score by Alan Silvestri
Released January 6, 2015 (2015-01-06)
Recorded 2014
Genre Film score
Length 56:52
Label Varese Sarabande

Track listing[edit]

Varese Sarabande released a soundtrack album of the score on January 6, 2015.[22][23][24]

All songs written and composed by Alan Silvestri. 

Night At the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
No. Title Length
1. "The Ahkmnerah Expedition"   3:34
2. "Performance Prep"   2:02
3. "LOL"   2:22
4. "The Grand Re-Opening"   3:13
5. "The End Will Come"   2:19
6. "Sneak And Greet"   3:25
7. "Sir Lancelot"   3:33
8. "Where Are Jed And Octavius?"   2:50
9. "Main Hall"   3:24
10. "Xiangliu"   3:46
11. "Male Bonding"   2:15
12. "The Legend Of The Tablet"   3:11
13. "The Escher Fight"   3:45
14. "Camelot"   3:49
15. "The Quest"   2:35
16. "Seeing Your Boy Become A Man"   3:14
17. "Laaa Love"   1:53
18. "A Farewell Kiss"   2:40
19. "Teddy's Goodbye"   3:02
Total length:
56:52

Release[edit]

The film premiered at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City on December 11, 2014.[25] It was then released on December 19, 2014 in the United States.[26]

Box office[edit]

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb grossed $113.8 million in North America, and $246.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $360.4 million against a budget of $127 million.[2]

In North America, early analysts were predicting a potential $25–$28 million opening.[27][28] In North America, the film was released on December 19, 2014 across 3,785 theaters.[29] It opened Friday, December 19, 2014 and earned $5.6 million on its opening day, placing at number three at the box office.[30] 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 number two at the box office behind The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.[31] According to 20th Century Fox, the movie's audience was almost evenly split with males making up 51% and 54% being 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.[31] 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.[32]

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.[33] 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.[34][35] The film expanded to an additional 40 markets in its second week and grossed $31.2 million.[36] 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.[37]

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).[36][38][39]

For the weekend of January 16, 2015, the film grossed $17.8 million, which includes a $3.9 million debut in South Korea.[40]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 50% approval rating, based on 100 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."[41] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 47 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews" from critics.[42] 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.[31]

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."[43] 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."[44] 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."[45] 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."[46] 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."[47] 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."[48]

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."[49] 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."[50] 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."[51] 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."[52] 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."[53] 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."[54] 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."[55]

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."[56] 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."[57] 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."[58] 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."[59]

Home media[edit]

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 10, 2015.[60]

References[edit]

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  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Fleming, Mike. "Rebel Wilson Joins 'Night At The Museum 3' Cast". Deadline.com. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Fleming, Mike. "'Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens Joins 'Night At The Museum 3' As Lancelot". Deadline.com. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Yamato, Jen. "Skyler Gisondo Set For 'Night At The Museum 3'". Deadline.com. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
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  11. ^ Chitwood, Adam (February 7, 2013). "Shawn Levy Returns to Direct NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 3 for December 25, 2014 Release; THE MAZE RUNNER Set to Open February 14, 2014". Collider. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
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  51. ^ Tom Long, The Detroit News (December 19, 2014). "‘Night at the Museum’ is family-friendly fun". Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  52. ^ "'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb' review: Bury it". Newark Star-Ledger. Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  53. ^ Tom Russo (December 17, 2014). "‘Night at the Museum’ sequel shakes off the dust". The Boston Globe. Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  54. ^ Robbie Collin (December 18, 2014). "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, review: 'so much fun'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  55. ^ Michael Rechtshaffen. "'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  56. ^ "Review: The creepy Night At The Museum series comes to a close with Secret Of The Tomb". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  57. ^ "New ‘Night at the Museum’ is a bit musty". New York Post. Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  58. ^ "‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb': Please do not touch". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
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External links[edit]