tien_amnh_walrus.jpgDespite mostly negative reviews "Night at the Museum" has been boffo at the box office, raking in over $160 million since its release. The movie's popularity has spilled over to the American Museum of Natural History. In the first ten days after the movie's opening the museum reported a twenty percent jump in attendance over the same period last year.

The movie, which takes place at the fictional Museum of Natural History, drew its inspiration from the AMNH, but only filmed a couple of exterior shots here. The interior scenes were all filmed in Vancouver. While some of the museum's collection, such as the Peking Man skull and the giant sequoia cross-section, can be seen in the movie, most of the dioramas and sculptures that come alive are not in the museum.

To respond to the increased attendance and frequent movie-related questions of museum visitors, the AMNH "scoured the movie" (pity the poor intern with that duty!) so they could "tell visitors what was here and what wasn't" according to AMNH director of visitor services Brad Harris.

There is some concern that young visitors might be disappointed when they don't find miniature animated cowboys at the museum. But, as six year-old Austin Metzger said "I've been here lots of times, and I didn't think those things are here." Gothamist hasn't seen the movie but we fondly remember being awed by the museum as a little kid. Come to think of it, we're still a little bit awed by the museum today.

Walrus at the American Museum of Natural History by Tien Mao on Flickr