Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Release Date: May 22, 2009

OMG, the Easter Island head just crushed tiny Owen Wilson!

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Position Staff In Brief
27/82 Kelly Metz Yeah, not the greatest sequel in the world, but I found it to be very enjoyable. Hank Azaria is always so entertaining.
89/169 Max Braden This sequel felt really paint-by-numbers, but Hank Azaria had some funny moments.

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Memorial Day 2009 will see the sequel to one of the more unlikely box office successes of the last decade.

A few days before Christmas 2006, 20th Century Fox released Night at the Museum, a film version of the 1993 children's book by Milan Trenc. The film opened to a decent, but hardly outstanding, $30 million. With such an inauspicious beginning, though, Night at the Museum went on to have incredible legs, ultimately surpassing $250 million domestically ($320 million worldwide). The film eventually became the #2 box office draw for 2006.

Ben Stiller returns in the lead role as reluctant hero Larry Daley. Many of the recognizable faces from the original (Robin Williams, Steeve Coogan, Ricky Gervais, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Brad Garrett) reprise their roles. Notable additions to the cast include Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart (Larry needs a love interest), Christopher Lee as Charles Darwin and Eugene Levy as Albert Einstein.

Night at the Museum did not draw greatly on the talents of the actors, instead leaning heavily on special effects to simulate the museum denizens coming to life. Director Shawn Levy returns to helm Battle of the Smithsonian, which looks to tread familiar ground in this regard. Whereas the original was set in New York's American Museum of Natural History, action in Battle of the Smithsonian moves - yes, indeed - to the Washington, DC museum complex. The relocation is not in name only: the sequel is the first feature film to be actually be shot in part in the Smithsonian.

The unusual success of the original Night at the Museum can be viewed as an exceptional case of holiday season legs. With the sequel capitalizing on the established name of the original and being released in summer blockbuster season, it will be interesting to see how the film holds up beyond its opening. (Tony Kollath/BOP)

Vital statistics for Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Main Cast Ben Stiller
Supporting Cast Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Hank Azaria, Christopher Guest, Alain Chabat, Robin Williams, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Ed Helms, Thomas Lennon, Dick Van Dyke, Clint Howard, Ricky Gervais, Eugene Levy, Mickey Rooney, Brad Garrett, Pierfrancesco Favino, Robert Ben Garant
Director Shawn Levy
Screenwriter Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon
Distributor 20th Century Fox
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating PG
Screen Count 4,096
Also see How Well Do You Know: Night at the Museum
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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