Why Damon Wayans Couldn’t Reach the Same Heights as Eddie Murphy in Hollywood

Damon Wayans couldn’t break out in the same way Eddie Murphy did.

Damon Wayans and Eddie Murphy – both stand-up comedians, both Saturday Night Live (SNL) alumni, and both stars of buddy cop movies. Yet, when it comes to their film careers, Murphy emerged as the blockbuster king while Wayans lagged behind. Why is that so? Let’s break it down to two main reasons: the choice of movie scripts and their experiences on SNL.

First, let’s talk about the movies. Wayans, throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, starred in films such as “Blankman,” “Major Payne,” “Celtic Pride,” “The Great White Hype,” “Bulletproof,” and “Bamboozled”. Unfortunately, all these movies lost money.

And while the Wayans’ TV show, “Damon”, had potential, it was cancelled after only 13 episodes. The only movie where Wayans really shone in the leading role was “Mo’ Money” in 1992, which made a respectable $42 million. Yet, when you add up the gross earnings of all these movies, you get about $120 million, a figure that’s not very impressive for an entire decade’s work.

Compare this to Eddie Murphy, who made a whopping $316 million with just “Beverly Hills Cop.” His film, “The Golden Child,” bagged another $150 million, and “Coming to America” raked in a jaw-dropping $300 million.

So what’s the difference? It could be that Wayans picked less appealing scripts, or perhaps he simply didn’t deliver as effectively as Murphy. Regardless, the box office results tell a story of two vastly different career outcomes.

Forum discussion on Reddit.