Eddie Murphy’s Biggest Movie Blunders

by on February 23rd, 2011
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Eddie Murphy returns to theaters on Friday, November 4, in the comedy “Tower Heist,” co-starring Ben Stiller and directed by “Rush Hour” director Brett Ratner. “Tower Heist” looks a like a potential hit given the heavy promotion the film is getting from Universal Pictures.

If “Tower Heist” does become a hit it will be remembered as a good decision by an actor who has a history of making very bad decisions. Here’s a look back at some of Eddie Murphy’s biggest career blunders.

Imagine That

In “Imagine That” Murphy delivers a dull family movie about a father bonding with his daughter after he discovers that her imaginary friends can help him predict the stock market. “Imagine That” failed with critics and at the box office, earning a 38 percent positive rating at Rottentomatoes.com and a meager $16 million at the domestic box office.

Meet Dave

How “Meet Dave” made it past the planning stages is a major question mark. The story finds Murphy in the dual role of a humanoid robot and the leader of the robot’s miniature alien crew.

Among critics, “Meet Dave” was blasted even worse than “Imagine That,” with USA Today critic Claudia Puig calling the story “dull, witless and hackneyed.” Among moviegoers, the project was among the biggest bombs of Murphy’s career, earning a disastrous $11 million at the domestic box office. Ouch!

Beverly Hills Cop III

The original “Beverly Hills Cop” grossed over $230 million in the United States. “Beverly Hills Cop II” was slightly less successful than the original but still grossed over $150 million domestic. Seven years after “Beverly Hills Cop II,” Murphy went back to the character of Axel Foley in hope of reviving his fading star-power following the diminishing returns for “Another 48 Hours,” “Boomerang,” and “The Distinguished Gentleman.”

The result was both a box office and critical failure. “Beverly Hills Cop III” grossed barely a quarter of what the original brought in at the box office 10 years earlier. As for critics, the same people who hailed Murphy’s arrival in “Beverly Hills Cop” were mostly embarrassed for the desperate and unfunny Murphy in “Beverly Hills Cop III.”

The Adventures of Pluto Nash

“The Adventures of Pluto Nash” is a legendary blunder. This sci-fi comedy starring Murphy as a nightclub owner on the moon, who travels the galaxy to investigate who burned his club down, cost more than $100 million to make and took in an apocalyptic $4 million at the domestic box office. Not surprisingly, critics lambasted “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” — for being a bad movie and for wasting the equivalent of the annual budget of your average small, island nation.

Norbit

Here we have a unique point in Eddie Murphy’s career. Yes, “Norbit,” the story of a nerdy kid who finds himself dragged into a marriage with a horrible overweight woman, also played by Murphy, was a hit, earning nearly $100 million at the box office.

However, “Norbit” arrived in theaters in February 2007 with ads featuring Murphy in a fat-suit pretending to be his own wife, just as Murphy was campaigning for his very first Oscar for his role in “Dreamgirls.” It is believed, though it cannot be proved, that “Norbit” cost Murphy an Academy Award, thus earning the film a place on the list of Eddie’s biggest blunders.

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