It might be hard to imagine now, but there was a time when Eddie Murphy's presence in a movie was basically a cheat code to box office success. The man made Trading Places, Coming to America, and even The Nutty Professor a success, and his stand-up movies were also incredibly popular. Those days were over long before The Adventures of Pluto Nash arrived. Still, the high concept sounded great—"Eddie Murphy as Han Solo" could have been a slam dunk. The movie just didn't connect with audiences, however, earning back only $7.1 million of its reported $100 million budget.
It's not hard to see why the film fared so poorly. It's (to put it mildly) a complete mess for everyone involved—mediocre special effects, a confusing and unfunny script, and a nonsensical future setting. Hoping that a science-fiction comedy could be successfully anchored purely on Eddie Murphy's ability to attract a crowd was a big gamble, and ultimately that $100 million budget was too much to wager.