Alicia Vikander's 'Tomb Raider' release date: Hope for video game films?

A release date has been set for the new 'Tomb Raider' movie. The original films, based on the video games of the same name, starred Angelina Jolie.

Rich Fury/Invision/AP/File
Alicia Vikander arrives at the 9th Annual Women in Film Pre-Oscar Cocktail Party in Los Angeles.

A release date has been set for the upcoming “Tomb Raider” film starring Alicia Vikander as studios continue to attempt to create the next hit film based on a video game.

“Tomb Raider,” which stars Ms. Vikander of “The Danish Girl,” for which she received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, will be released in the spring of 2018.

The first “Tomb” movie, which starred Angelina Jolie and was titled “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” after its heroine, was released in 2001 and became a box office hit. A 2003 sequel, “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life,” made only about half of what the first movie did domestically.

Warner Bros. hopes this reboot will buck the recent trend of films based on video games struggling with audiences.

Hollywood periodically attempts to bring popular stories from video games to the big screen, and the first “Tomb” movie is the biggest hit to have been released in this genre. Almost all the others have struggled financially at the domestic box office.

Studios haven't given up on the idea that a popular game can turn into a popular film. This year has already included a few new attempts at bringing a world from a video game to the movies. One, this May’s “The Angry Birds Movie,” did well at the box office and became the second-highest-grossing video game film adaptation of all time, behind the first “Tomb Raider” movie. 

Others did poorly, at least domestically. The animated movie “Ratchet & Clank,” which came out this past April, barely registered financially, while “Warcraft,” the adaptation of the World of Warcraft universe that came out this June, did not fare well domestically at the box office. 

The story of “Warcraft” comes with an important caveat, however. While “Warcraft” didn’t win over audiences in the US, the film set box office records in China, an interesting twist in the increasingly global movie marketplace. “Warcraft” did so well in China that it broke records for the best opening for a foreign film. 

Those who finance video game adaptations will no doubt be watching carefully to see how the latest “Tomb Raider” does when it comes out in 2018, as well as the film adaptation of the game "Assassin’s Creed,” due out this December.

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