Hitting it big Murphy Murphy scored another big box-office hit the summer of 1983 with the comedy Trading Places, only to hit a road bump with the poorly received Best Defense." But Murphy achieved superstardom in December 1984 with the release of the comedy-action flick Beverly Hills Cop." The film made $234.8 million domestically and spawned two disappointing sequels, 1987s Beverly Hills Cop II, which earned $153. 7 million, and 1994s Beverly Hills Cop III, which took in a paltry $42. 6 million. Smith He made his big-budget debut in a supporting role in the 1993 Whoopi Goldberg- Ted Danson comedy Made in America, and then played a gay con man in the acclaimed Six Degrees of Separation, which was released in late 1993. Though it only made $6.5 million, that film received glowing reviews and Smith demonstrated his dramatic prowess. But it was Bad Boys, the 1995 action-packed buddy cop film that teamed him with Martin Lawrence, which made him a viable box-office star. The film raked in $64.8 million and led to his first blockbuster: 1996s Independence Day, which took in $306.2 million domestically. And Independence Day became the first of Smiths numerous July hits, which include 1997s Men in Black ($250.7 million); 1999s Wild Wild West ($113.8 million); 2002s Men in Black II ($190.4 million); 2003s Bad Boys II ($138.6 million); and 2004s I, Robot ($144.8 million). Winner: Smith owns July.
Claudette Barius / 20th Century Fox
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