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Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘THE ADVENTURES OF PLUTO NASH – Lost in Space’


The Adventures of Pluto Nash is the epitome of how this podcast came to be. For starters, it is just a terrible film. Critics agreed. With 90 reviews, it sits at just 4% on Rotten Tomatoes; users responded slightly more favorably with 19%. It also stars Eddie Murphy, who at one time was one of the biggest stars on this planet or any other.

Despite the bad word of mouth, though, even awful movies inexplicably make money sometimes. Norbit and Daddy Day Care—also in the Eddie Murphy dreck hall of fame—each grossed over $150 million.

Pluto Nash‘s fate wasn’t so kind. It tanked. On a ballooned budget of around $160 million, it grossed under $10 million total (the actual figure is just over $7), making it one of the largest bombs in box office history. At the time of its release, it held the crown. That loss was a catastrophic one. It resulted in massive layoffs at Castle Rock, the movie’s co-distributor, and landed director Ron Underwood in big screen jail.

Rosario Dawson, Randy Quaid, and Eddie Murphy in The Adventures of Pluto Nash

Money aside, Pluto Nash, quite frankly, is the antithesis of funny. Between the off-putting ogling of Nash’s android companion Bruno (Randy Quaid) and Murphy’s disinterested turn, it’s sort of astounding it was ever brought off the shelf it had collected dust on for years. And with ideas and visuals as lazy as its comedic execution, one can’t help but wonder why they continued to pour money into it.

If reports are to be believed, Pluto Nash was so disastrous that the studio had to pony up tens of millions of dollars for reshoots. They even hired Oscar-winning editor Alan Heim to polish them. Heim, dissatisfied with what he saw, determined there wasn’t enough of the three-hour work print that was even usable. Thus, more reshoots ensued—a desperate dance to redeem the irredeemable.

Folks, it’s hard to recommend you even watch this thing. There is just nothing to celebrate about it. 

But, hey, that’s part of the fun. So sit back, chug—literally chug—a few Voodoo Ranger Starship IPAs from New Belgium Brewing Co., and boogie to some lunar beats with Bruno and Babette! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash (aka Rex Crater), and Chumpzilla, are doing our damndest not to just lie down and die in the middle of a moon crater.

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – In an explosive first round KO, Pluto Nash wrenched the Shit Movie Championship away from Cutthroat Island. We explain why. (00:00)
  • Lingering Questions and the Moon Beach Trivia Challenge – First, Chumpzilla challenges us to Pluto Nash/Eddie Murphy-themed trivia. And then, with what’s left of our resolve, we tackle whether or not this movie could’ve been salvaged. (53:25)
  • Recommendations – Time is a construct. While you ponder that and other mysteries of quarantine life, enjoy our recommendations for the week. And next up: It’s Kilmer time, as we hunt down The Ghost and the Darkness! (1:11:30)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram (new and shiny!) to check out all the interesting factoids—Murphy’s bizarre desire to rescue this project and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbean, and Spotify!


Thomas L. Kelly

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