Film series that failed as soon as the first sequel was released

Lara Croft as a video game character regularly featured new solo adventures, which made this fictional character one of the more enduring characters video games of the 1990s. On the big screen, however, Lara Croft was not so lucky, with the original film adaptation of the character (played by Angelina Jolie) sputtering after just two entries. It didn’t initially seem like the franchise would be so short-lived, since its first movie, “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” made so much bank at the global box office in the summer of 2001. The film was so lucrative that it is still one of Jolie’s highest-grossing star vehicles worldwide.

Capitalizing on Croft’s popularity and Jolie’s rising profile, “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” came at the perfect time in every way. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very popular with audiences, and despite the countless number of video games featuring this character, there just wasn’t much demand for a sequel. When “Lara Croft: The Cradle of Life” hit multiplexes in the summer of 2003, moviegoers gave the production a chill. With the making of the film 43% less than its predecessor, the game was over for the “Lara Croft” film franchise. Thanks to this hugely disappointing box office move, this video game staple won’t return to theaters for another 15 years, in a reboot simply titled “Tomb Raider.”

Andrea G. Henderson