Night at the Museum is a 2006 American comedy film.
Based on The Night at the Museum, a 1993 children's book by Milan Trenc, the plot focuses on Larry Daley, a divorced parent who accepts a graveyard shift position as a security guard at a struggling museum of natural history. Failing to follow the instructions in the manual provided by the three guards he replaced, he awakens during his shift to discover several exhibits have come alive and chaos has erupted. Comedy ensues as Theodore Roosevelt, to whom the museum is dedicated, tries to help Larry restore order.
Released on December 22, 2006, the film was written by Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon of Comedy Central's Reno 911 and MTV's The State and directed by Shawn Levy. The cast includes Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Ricky Gervais, Carla Gugino, Charlie Murphy, Steve Coogan, and Owen Wilson. A new novelization of the screenplay by Leslie Goldman is being published as a movie tie-in.
The building featured in the film, which was constructed on a sound stage in Vancouver, Canada, 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 monkey Dexter, to slap and bite Stiller in the film.
This Christmas, it won't be a silent night.
Everything comes to life.
At the Museum of Natural History, something unnatural is occurring.
See the side of the museum you won't see on the tour.
When the lights go off, it's on and it's showtime.
Night at the Museum was the highest grossing film in its opening weekend, grossing $30.8 million in 3,685 theaters. For the four-day Christmas holiday weekend, it took in $42.2 million.
In its second weekend, Night at the Museum expanded into eighty-three more theaters and took in approximately $37.8 million at the box-office, out-grossing its opening weekend. It maintained its #1 position in its third week, with an additional $24 million.
The film was reviewed poorly by critics, receiving only a 43% at Rotten Tomatoes. James Berardinelli or Reelviews 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 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."
Museum officials at the New York 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 and January 2 there were 50,000 more visitors than during the same period last year.