The latest attempt to jump-start the video game movie renaissance is Tomb Raider, which hit theaters this weekend. Despite a valiant effort, the film still came up short at the box office, coming in second place to the Black Panther juggernaut. Tomb Raider made $23.5 million domestically in its opening weekend, but that doesn't tell the whole story. The ever more important foreign box office can play a huge role in a film's success or failure, and Tomb Raider is doing quite well internationally, raking in $102.5 million in its opening frame.
According to Box Office Mojo, the gritty reboot of gaming's most recognizable heroine currently sits at $126 million worldwide after its first weekend in release. The domestic haul was about in line with pre-release expectations, but Black Panther continues to reign supreme with incredible staying power, thus denying Tomb Raider the opportunity to slap the '#1 Movie in America' tag on post-release TV spots. Regardless, America is only part of the overall equation and although foreign markets aren't always as profitable as domestic ones, $102.5 million doesn't seem like a bad start for Lara Croft.
Tomb Raider did especially well in China, taking in $41.1 million on 15,500 screens according to Variety. Roar Uthaug's reboot accounted for nearly 50% of the box office among the top five films in that country. Even more impressive is how its opening weekend performance in China compares to two other worldwide smashes, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Wonder Woman, which earned $39.2 million and $37.6 million respectively when they opened there. Jumanji wound up making $77.9 million overall in China while Wonder Woman took in $90.4 million. If Tomb Raider has a similar final tally in China, it would go a long way towards putting this movie in the black.
While far from an indie flick, as a blockbuster, Tomb Raider had a pretty modest production budget of $94 million. Its domestic showing wasn't even enough to win its opening weekend, but this strong foreign start for Tomb Raider is at least a positive sign for those hoping for more of Alicia Vikander's Lara Croft. The film didn't fare great with critics and currently sits at a 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. That said, Tomb Raider's 50% is still enough for it to take the throne as the best reviewed video game movie. Not exactly the highest bar to clear, but its a step in the right direction and shows that there are positives to be taken from this reboot. For those who prefer their video game characters in their original medium, a new Lara Croft video game, Shadow of the Tomb Raider was just announced for release later this year.