Ben Stiller's new movie, Night at the Museum, has proved itself to be a festive family favourite at the box office.

The film sees Stiller star alongside British comedian Ricky Gervais and Mrs Doubtfire actor Robin Williams in the fantastical comedy. In the film, the contents of a museum, including Atilla the Hun and a Tyrannosaurus skeleton, come to life and cause havoc.

It has become the highest grossing film in its opening weekend, grossing $30.8 million (£15.7 million) in 3,685 theatres across the US and took the top spot from second-place Will Smith movie, The Pursuit of Happyness, by $15 million.

The family comedy also beat off boxing epic and Sylvester Stalone's comeback, Rocky Balboa, which became the third most popular film over the Christmas weekend.

Many of the big blockbuster movies are released around the holiday period, including The Good Shepard, which tells of the origins of the CIA and is a star-studded affair with Angelina Jolie and Matt Damon and direction by Robert De Niro.

The Museum has become the third biggest Christmas weekend opening, after The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001 and Stiller's cult comedy classic, Meet The Fockers in 2004.

26/12/2006 11:58:52