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©AP / Eddie Murphy
© AP / Eddie Murphy
Eddie Murphy's new movie looks like a flop -- what happened?

By Dorothy Pomerantz

Did you know that Eddie Murphy has a new movie coming out this week? If you did, it's likely only because you've seen the scathing reviews for "A Thousand Words." It looks like it's going to be another flop for Murphy.

Search: How many Razzie nominations does Murphy have?

The movie earns a zero on Rotten Tomatoes, which means there isn't one critic out there recommending the movie.

How did it come to this for Murphy? Back in 2009, Murphy ranked 41st on our Celebrity 100 list. That year he earned a whopping $40 million. A lot of that was from his work as Donkey in the incredibly profitable "Shrek" movies, but thanks to a slew of well-performing family-friendly films like "Doctor Dolittle," "The Nutty Professor" and "Norbit," Murphy was a hot commodity in Hollywood.

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Studios like Fox and Paramount were willing to pay him big up-front paychecks for movies like "Meet Dave" and "Imagine That." But those two movies were colossal flops. They helped land Murphy on one of our lists that no stars want to see themselves on: Hollywood's Most Overpaid list.

Also on Hollywood's Most Overpaid Actors

According to our estimates, for every $1 Murphy is paid, his films return an average of $2.70.

But this year was supposed to be Murphy's comeback year.

His friend, director Brett Ratner, had tailored the role of a professional thief in the film "Tower Heist" for Murphy. The movie, about a group of workers at a fancy condo in New York who try to steal $20 million from a Bernie Madoff-type who has ripped them off, promised to bring the star back to his "Beverly Hills Cop" heyday.

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But the film didn't do very well at the box office. While it wasn't an outright flop like "Meet Dave," it earned only $152 million on a $75 million budget.

Murphy's comeback further faltered when he ended up not hosting the Oscars.

The plan has been laid out so clearly. "Tower Heist" would be a hit. Ratner would produce the Oscars. Murphy would be hot again and then he would host the Oscars in a triumphant return.

Related: Eddie Murphy wants another chance to host Oscars

But after the poor performance of "Tower Heist" and some insensitive remarks by Ratner, the producer dropped out of the gig and so did Murphy.

If everything had gone as planned, the timing of "A Thousand Words" would have worked to Murphy's advantage. The film has been sitting on the shelf for the past three years.

If Murphy had managed to regain some of his swagger, people might have gone to see "A Thousand Words" no matter how bad it was.

More: Brett Ratner apologizes for gay slur at 'Tower Heist' screening

Now it looks like the movie is going to be yet another Murphy flop. Exhibitor Relations doesn't expect the film to crack to top five this weekend. Some are saying this will be the final nail in Murphy's career.

I hope not. It would be great to see Murphy return to form. Maybe he just needs to find the right movie.

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Mar 10, 2012 4:53AM

Eddie should return to his roots - Standup COMEDY!

Mar 10, 2012 3:22AM

it's simply wrong movie choices,or maybe it's the only films he can get, he is very funny when he gets good writing and a good story, is it him or his agent? is it only for quick cash?


what some people call bad movies, some others may have liked.

i liked the haunted mansion by murphy, i thought he was funny in it and because it was the haunted mansion! but it had a good story i thought and i found it entertaining nd very funny!

subtle humor.. but it's real funny the way it's done.


daddy day care? i found to be a great family flick and found alot of it funny and let's not forget cheap trick was even in it........  the bathroom scene was funny as all heck!



for a real comeback big bang, he simply needs to go back to what he does best..

The nutty proffessor movies.. bring back the klump family!


when he deos the whole family like he does, he is atthe top of his game and it's funny!

if he were to bring back the klumpos, people would flock to see it...

good writing is needed and a good story. and a great and i mean great trailer!

which will sell it.. if it's funny then a good trailer is always made to show it and people can tell,people are not stupid when it comes to whats good and what is not.





Mar 10, 2012 3:05AM

I didn't care for the Nutty Professor movies but I thought this one looked okay. It reminded me of Jim Carrey's Liar, Liar.  And the previews for Tower Heist looked like it was supposed to kind of a spoof of Ocean's Eleven. The previews looked pretty good.


I couldn't believe that anyone thought Meet Dave was going to be a hit. 

Mar 10, 2012 2:11AM

Eddie Murphy's time has passed.  His last few movies he is trying to play at something he can no longer play with any sense of believiblity.


He also has spent too much time away from Hollywood Movies, oh sure he did Shrek, but that wasn't a real movie, it was him doing a voice over.


If he never did the remakes/reimaginings of the films it would be no great loss to me, he's lost his charme, his is still trying to be "cute" & "funny" when he's become old and fat (he now has a fat head).  I don't see his movies unless they are on netflix.


His movies just are not funny at all.


I have seen a number of trailers for his current movie, why the ariticle would even assumes I even looked at any reviews is  beyond me.  I do not look at reivews for movies.  I decide to see a movie pased on trailers i've seen or by actor if I do not like the actor at all (for example I do not see Tom Cruise movies at all)  Based on the trailers I would not see "A Thousands Words", it is a stupid premise for a movie an I am sure that it has some parable ending trying to teach us something.  I will not see it at movie theater prices it's not even worth it.

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