Midway through 2011, it appeared Eddie Murphy was on track for a major career resurgence.
His “Tower Heist” was tracking for a fantastic box office run, and he had been named the host of the 2012 Academy Awards broadcast. If both events fell into place as expected, Murphy had a good shot at returning to the top of the entertainment industry.
Unfortunately, things did not work out as planned. “Heist” greatly fell short of initial box office expectations (though still performed decently for a comedy) and his Oscar hosting gig was derailed when producer (and “Heist” director) Brett Ratner had to withdraw from the production role.
And now he has yet another box office bomb to add to a resume that includes such disasters as “The Adventures of Pluto Nash,” “I Spy” and “Meet Dave.”
His new release “A Thousand Words” earned less than $2 million Friday and is on track for a horrific opening weekend of less than $6 million. Though viewers were slightly kinder to the film than critics (a B- CinemaScore versus a 0 on RT), when push came to shove, there was nowhere near enough interest to produce a box office success.
Elsewhere, Disney’s big budget “John Carter” did not do anything to turn “Friday Night Lights” standout Taylor Kitsch into a box office rockstar. The film garnered just $9.6 million in its Friday debut, which will produce a sub-$30 million weekend debut and a second place finish to holdover “The Lorax.”
Though viewers hated “Silent House,” giving it an F CinemaScore, it will still earn between $6 million and $7 million for the weekend, likely good for a fifth place finish.