Why Katt Williams Once Argued That These Two Comedians Might Be Bigger Black Movie Stars Than Denzel Washington

Katt Williams has made many statements that some might deem controversial. But the comedian has always been willing to back up his claims with facts and statistics if needed. This was the case when he shared his opinion of Denzel Washington’s stardom.

Washington has been praised as one of the biggest stars, let alone African-American stars, in Hollywood history. However, Williams once brought up that in terms of box-office figures, there are two comedians who might actually trump Washington’s star power.

How Katt Williams hinted that Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence might be bigger box-office stars than Denzel Washington

Katt Williams smiling while wearing a hat.
Katt Williams | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Katt Williams may have had some controversial remarks about Eddie Murphy in the past. However, the comedian has also had undeniable respect and admiration for Murphy. According to Reuters, he even felt the comedian deserved several Oscars for his contributions to Cinema.

“Eddie Murphy is the finest actor of all time,” Williams once said at a premiere of Norbit. “Of all time, in the history of the business this man. “What else you need me to say? Oh, he deserves several Oscars, not just this Oscar. The Nutty Professor Oscar and the Bowfinger Oscar too. Four of them at least.”

Because of Murphy’s successes, Williams also once proposed the idea that the Norbit actor might be bigger than another Oscar-winner. In an interview with Comic’s Comic, Williams explained what Murphy meant to the industry.

“Comedically, you have to understand we have very few people you can look at and say, these are the bullet points,” Williams said. “If you want to pick out the bullet points of how your career can go on the right path…Richard Pryor, of course, is the icon, the legend, but in our age range, who did it more completely than Eddie Murphy?”

Williams then brought up Denzel Washington to illustrate his point.

“If you asked people who is the biggest black movie star, they’d say Denzel Washington,” he said.

But Williams challenged this belief. Reportedly, the Emmy-winner asserted that Martin Lawrence’s films, let alone Eddie Murphy’s, have made far more money than Washington’s. But how true is this assessment?

How does Denzel Washington’s box-office numbers compare to Eddie Murphy’s and Martin Lawrence’s?

Although Washington is reportedly worth more than both Lawrence and Murphy, Williams might be right when comparing their box-office stats. According to The Numbers, both Lawrence and Murphy have starred in films that have grossed more than Washington’s biggest movies.

So far, Washington’s highest-grossing film is still American Gangster, which drew a total of $267,985,456. Meanwhile, Lawrence’s highest-grossing movie, Bad Boys for Life, earned a gross of $424,536,881.

At the same time, Murphy’s best-selling film is Shrek 2, which took in $935,253,978 worldwide. But outside of the billion-dollar Shrek franchise, his highest-grossing live-action vehicle is Beverly Hills Cop. The 1984 film has reportedly pulled in $316,300,000.

It seems that if box-office counts, some might consider Lawrence and Murphy in the same conversation as Washington.

How many films have Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy done together?

The two comedians have joined forces in their careers only a couple of times. The first instance Lawrence and Murphy came together was in the rom-com Boomerang, with the 1992 film drawing $131 million.

Their second film, Life, wasn’t as successful. The 1999 film drew in only $73 million at the box office. Success, it seems, isn’t always guaranteed when casting two comic-heavy hitters in your project.

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