Emmy-winning actor, comedian, and singer Eddie Murphy rose to superstardom in the 1980s. The Norbit alum’s rise as a breakout stand-up comedian and a seamless transition into big-screen endeavors allowed him to garner unimaginable acclaim. The actor’s debut feature 48 Hrs. (1982) became a hit and offered audiences a glimpse into what he had to offer.
Murphy’s solo leading role would come with the first installment of Beverly Hills Cop (1984). The endeavor proved uber-successful and garnered a profitable commercial return. This led to the eagerly awaited sequel’s 1987 release, which, like its predecessor, made a fair amount of money at the box office worldwide.
Eventually, a third Beverly Hills Cop movie was conceived and made its way to the general public in 1994. However, Murphy’s career hit a rough patch when the endeavor was critically panned and failed to rake in the same fortune as the earlier releases in the series.
Despite being the weakest link in the trilogy, Eddie Murphy earned a surprisingly mind-blowing sum for his contributions to the project.
Eddie Murphy Received $15 Million For The Weakest Beverly Hills Cop Film
According to an Entertainment Weekly report from 1993, a spiraling budget dictated the grounds of Beverly Hills Cop III‘s production. The John Landis-directed project’s production was momentarily delayed because Paramount executives required more time to comprehend the film’s ballooning expense. Eddie Murphy‘s star power is believed to have dwindled from 1989, but he received a magnificently sizable wage for the 1994 film.
Murphy’s $15 million compensation was at the forefront of the third installment’s financial difficulties.
After being initially projected at $55 million, the budget for Beverly Hills Cop III quickly exceeded till it stood at a whopping $70 million. Ultimately, this enormous investment wouldn’t promise the returns the first two movies had been capable of bringing. According to Box Office Mojo, the third film in the series could only amass $42 million at the domestic box office.
By contrast, the domestic gross of the first installment was nearly $235 million, while the second brought in $153 million.
The endeavor’s narrative couldn’t be its saving grace either. Critics didn’t take kindly to the attempt, some even dubbing Eddie Murphy’s performance “uncharacteristically lethargic” and “joyless.” Beverly Hills Cop III has an 11% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Even with a marginally higher audience score of 35%, the overall reception is bleak.
Despite the setbacks the Beverly Hills Cop Franchise faced in light of the third film, a fourth installment, which has long suffered in the depths of development hell, is scheduled to come to Netflix in 2024.
Why It Took Eddie Murphy A Long Time To Reprise His Role As Axel Foley
Nearly forty years since the first film’s release, the fourth installment titled Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F will see Eddie Murphy reprise his iconic role. However, fans of the franchise may have wondered what took so long. Getting the correct script for the project was more important to the lead actor than accepting a rushed, half-baked premise for the sake of a big check. The actor refuses to reiterate the same mistakes that led to the third film’s failure.
Following was his statement in a Playboy interview from 2015:
“…And before it happens [referring to the fourth film’s shooting], they’ve got to get that script right. That movie has to be right. The third Beverly Hills Cop was garbage. Those movies, when I travel overseas, people say [in a foreign accent] “Hey, Beverly Hills Cop! Axel Foley!” They call me that sh*t. […] If we do that movie, it has to be right. Not just thrown together to get a big check. I don’t need anymore of those.”
The project was delayed since it needed to depend on a suitable screenplay. According to reports, on May 6, 2015, Paramount Pictures postponed Beverly Hills Cop IV because of script issues. This further explains the backdrop behind Murphy’s statement to Playboy.
Nonetheless, after years of development hell, it is confirmed that the fourth movie is slated for a Summer 2024 release. Moreover, Netflix unveiled a teaser image, which you can view in the following post:
Eddie Murphy is back as Axel Foley. Teaser tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/nU6emJoqtN
— Netflix (@netflix) December 13, 2023
An official teaser trailer for Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F will be out tomorrow. You can set your reminders below: