It’s official! Ben Stiller’s’ new movie “Night at the Museum” is both a critical and box office bomb. While it did come in at number 2 in the U.S. weekend box office after premiering last week – it came in behind the worldwide hit final installment in the Hobbit trilogy – the movie grossed a paltry $17.3 million.
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While that is a hell of a lot of money to about 99% of the people on the planet, it means that the film will have trouble breaking the $100 million mark at the box office. With an estimated budget of $127 million, however, it probably will at least break even for the studio eventually.
As far as the movie’s reception among the critics, film review site Rotten Tomatoes gave it only a 48% rating, while fans only gave it a 71%.
Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star Ledger wrote, “It has magical curses, a pharaoh and Ben Kingsley, but ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ is no ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings.’ It’s got fewer laughs. Considering it’s a comedy, this is not a good thing.”
The Toronto Star’s Peter Howell said, “The mystical MacGuffin of the third and supposedly final Night at the Museum movie resembles a giant golden BlackBerry, which may explain why it feels like everybody just phoned it in.”
On Robin Williams’ final on Speaking of third acts, they could have subtitled this swan-song installment The Long Goodbye – the resolutions and aurevoirs take forever. It’s sad, of course, to see Williams in his Rough Rider uniform and wire-rimmed spectacles, but his performance as the 26th president is ghostly in ways that have nothing to do with the actor’s untimely death.”
Finally Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter said, “the franchise is seriously showing its age with what is purported to be its final installment.
“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.”
Rechtshaffen added, “it’s still a shame the franchise couldn’t have gone out on a more energetic note.