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A payday for Smithsonian

May 21, 2008|From the Washington Post

How much did it cost 20th Century Fox to use "Night at the Museum 2: Escape From the Smithsonian" in a movie title? The studio ponied up $550,000, according to figures released by the institution.

It's the first time the Smithsonian name has appeared in a title produced for theatrical distribution -- not just any movie, of course, but the sequel to "Night at the Museum," which grossed $250 million when it came out two years ago.

The studio approached the Smithsonian about setting the film in D.C., and officials spent six months reading scripts until approving the final version last month. Stars Ben Stiller and Amy Adams will be shooting at the National Air and Space Museum this week.

"The reason we did this project is because of what happened in New York: Attendance increased so much and people got really turned on by museums, especially kids," said Air and Space spokeswoman Claire Brown.

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