xXx vs Baywatch, Priyanka vs Deepika: Both promised fun, but only one delivered | hollywood | Hindustan Times
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xXx vs Baywatch, Priyanka vs Deepika: Both promised fun, but only one delivered

Now that both Deepika Padukone’s xXx: Return of Xander Cage and Priyanka Chopra’s Baywatch have come (and gone), we can take a look at which film fared better at the box office, with the fans and with critics.

hollywood Updated: Jun 07, 2017 17:02 IST
HT Correspondent
xXx or Baywatch: There is one clear winner.
xXx or Baywatch: There is one clear winner.

Now that the dust has settled, we can take a better look at how two films - Deepika Padkone’s xXx: Return of Xander Cage and Priyanka Chopra’s Baywatch - performed. For both stars, they were first steps into a new film industry, the oldest and most popular in the world. Both films, as different as they were on paper, promised one thing above all else: Fun.

Only one succeeded.

From the moment when they were first announced, both Baywatch and xXx knew exactly the sort of films they were. Both starred veteran action stars as the marquee names. Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, who dominated 2016 mostly because of rumours of an on-set feud on the eighth Fast and Furious movie - a feud that they vehemently denied - shifted focus to their individual projects once F8 broke records as expected.

xXx was Diesel’s return to one of his earliest franchises, one that was greenlit into production once Fast and Furious became a sleeper hit in 2001. Baywatch was an attempt at reviving one of the most popular shows of the ‘90s, and spin it into a franchise much like the Jump Street movies.

Both Diesel and Johnson are prolific on social media and every update a fan could have hoped for was provided on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook - sometimes simultaneously.

BOX OFFICE

xXx was the first one out of the gate. It was given a January release date - a month which has traditionally been known as the graveyard month, owing to its neither-here-nor-there nature. It comes immediately after the Oscar season, and just before the summer blockbuster window.

xXx took advantage of this smartly. With no real competition, it debuted to $90 million worldwide in its opening weekend, on its way to an impressive $346 million total. That’s Rs 2200 crore. Capitalising on its international cast, it made more than $100 million in China alone, thanks mostly to the presence of Donnie Yen and Kris Wu. All in all, the film made more than $300 million outside the US, and close to Rs 40 crore in India.

While it’s too early to predict Baywatch’s final haul, it opened even lower than the already mediocre US opening of xXx. Made on a budget of $70 million as compared to xXx’s $85 million, Baywatch made $18 million in US in its opening weekend, and its current global total stands at $70 million. It recorded the worst debut of a Dwayne Johnson film in years, and contributed to the worst US Memorial Day weekend in nearly two decades. And to top it all off, it couldn’t even manage to crack Rs 5 crore in its first three days in India.

REVIEWS

Once again, we have a clear winner. xXx’s Rotten Tomatoes score stands at 43% - not positive by any stretch of the imagination, but a substantial jump from Baywatch’s 20%. The review aggregator website’s consensus for xXx says, “xXx: Return of Xander Cage should satisfy fans of the first two instalments, but its preponderance of set pieces can’t quite make up for a tired storyline that fails to take the franchise -- or action fans -- anywhere new.”

Meanwhile, the consensus for Baywatch says, “Baywatch takes its source material’s jiggle factor to R-rated levels, but lacks the original’s campy charm -- and leaves its charming stars flailing in the shallows.”

The foreign press, however, singled out Priyanka’s over-the-top performance, while little attention was given to Deepika’s largely supporting role.

MARKETING

While both films’ marketing was given a boost thanks to Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson’s huge online fanbase, Baywatch curiously chose to invest in a very slight marketing campaign in India. Unlike Diesel - who came to India to promote the film alongside Deepika - only Priyanka Chopra did the publicity tour for Baywatch here, and that too weeks before its release.

THE FUTURE

Priyanka Chopra quickly signed two new Hollywood movies immediately after the release of Baywatch and remains the public eye. Deepika, meanwhile, is busy shooting the troubled Padmavati.

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