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Eddie Murphy On Why There Was Never A 'Coming To America' Sequel...

by Tambay A. Obenson
November 25, 2013 10:38 AM
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If you're one of those who prayed for a sequel to Coming To America, and wondered why that never became a reality, the star of that film, Eddie Murphy, addressed the matter while he was on his co-star Arsenio Hall's new late-night talk-show last week, as the pair reminisced on this year being the 25th anniversary of the film's release.

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I was just fine with the film ending as it did, and never gave a single thought to the potential for a sequel. So I'm perfectly OK with the fact that we didn't get one.

And in light of current conversations about Hollywood studio and press underestimating audience reception for, as well as box office potential of "black films" (see Best Man Holiday most recently), I thought I'd remind you all that Coming To America was actually not screened for the press before it was released in theaters, back in 1988, which meant that the studio wasn't too confident in how it would be received.

It is said that the film was screened once for the press in New York, but reactions to it by those who members of the press who attended was so terrible that the studio, Paramount, decided it best to cancel all press screenings for the film, ahead of its release.

But as we all know today, despite the studio's apparent worries, as well as the negative reception by the only press that did see it, the film went on to become a blockbuster! In fact, it was the 3rd highest grossing film of 1988, taking home $128,152,301 domestic (adjusted for inflation, that's about $250 million in today's money!). Globally, it grossed $288,752,301, or about $550 million in today's dollars!


And it's gone on to become a comedy classic. 

Obviously the studios don't always know what exactly they have on their hands.

Here's Eddie with Arsenio on why there has been no Coming To America sequel:

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  • Killer Joe | November 26, 2013 7:32 AMReply


    Mad love for you, bruh. You are the king, the G.O.A.T. But for real, you need to step away from the studios, find a low budget indie director you vibe with (preferably one we haven't heard of yet, that way you will be the center of attention), and make a serious drama for no money. You'll kill it and it will bring you back in a big way.

  • Eric | November 25, 2013 10:32 PMReply

    If you recall, the major lawsuit actually came from the late columnist Art Buchwald who claimed to have written the story.

  • Donella | November 25, 2013 5:28 PMReply

    So successful that everyone wanted a piece of the action.

    But the real story is the amount of overseas box office this movie generated. Several other majority Black casted movies enjoyed overseas success that was willfully ignored.

  • El | November 25, 2013 4:30 PMReply

    I don't think that a sequel for this film would have been a good thing. It is a classic that has surpassed the expectations of everyone involved, and unfortunately that always leads to quite a few people thinking that the next step is to try and recreate another blockbuster film from the original when there wasn't much room for the characters from the previous film to develop without ruining the previous films legacy. Sometimes it's just best to leave well enough alone.

  • miktal | November 25, 2013 4:22 PMReply

    Critics have ZERO effect on peoples choice/opinion of film, so I don't even know why they get a special screening before release. People will just make up their own mind whether they are going to watch a film, as in this case.
    One of the best films that year and an absolutely comedy classic

  • dee | November 25, 2013 3:57 PMReply

    Making a sequel would have taken the integrity from Coming to America. I am fine
    with only one. We live in a remake, sequel, 3D world.

  • ALM | November 25, 2013 11:47 AMReply

    Another huge piece of proof that the gatekeepers in the movie industry are completely out of touch.

    Also, I don't truly believe that lawsuits were what kept the sequel from happening. Lawsuits fly around Hollywood all the time. They could still do a sequel now if they wanted to.

  • other song | November 25, 2013 10:59 AMReply

    Proving also that a lot of critics don't understand Black people. The success of Coming To America was a no-brainer imo. The concept was and still is genius. "An African prince goes to Queens to find his queen? and it's Eddie Murphy?" LMAO. It sells itself

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