Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Director: Shawn Levy

Producers: The Director himself along with Michael Barnathan and Chris Columbus

Writers: Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant

Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Produced on a grand budget of around 150 million dollars, the second movie of the ‘Night at the Museum’ Franchise has been as successful as the first part ‘Night at the Museum’ which released in 2006. The tremendous response to the first part, is what has led to its sequel after a nuanced gap of 3 years. The brilliance of the concept is that it’s not just plain fantasy and science fiction, but a mix and match of fantasy, science fiction, adventure as well as comedy. This is primarily the reason why the movie has garnered such a fabulous response from the younger audiences, as well as those in the higher age groups. As a matter of fact, the first part of this widely successful franchise, was actually based on an illustrated picture book that goes by the same name. This picture book for children has been mistaken as a comic book, but the fact of the matter is, that it is not!

When you start off a movie franchise with the theme of dinosaurs, fossils, night adventures and ‘saving the world’, its chances of being successful really double up’ that’s because the fusion of fantasy, adventure science fiction and comedy is a powerful one, drawing in audiences who are fond of ether of these genres. So when director Shawn Levy (of the fame of blockbusters like The Pink Panther, Date Night, Big Fat Liar and Just Married) decided to pick the concept from a popular European Children’s book, there was not much surprise. It was a box-office success even before release!

The Night at the Museum: Children’s Book

Written by Milan Trenc, a Croatian Novelist, this book was also illustrated by this gifted novelist who boasts of multiple talents- that of being an illustrator and director as well. This book was published way back in 1993 by the Barron’s Educational Series Publishing House, and comprised of only 32 pages. The story is centered on the life events of Hector, a watchman by profession. During his night shift at the Museum of Natural History, he finds the deadly dinosaur fossils coming alive at night. The book has some of the finest illustrations amongst the hoards of children’s picture books that we come across today. While the book did enjoy an average readership, the same spiraled upwards rapidly when the first motion picture based on it, was released in 2006. Nothing like a good old Hollywood Fantasy Flick to spiral up the sales of an obscure Picture Book from Croatia!