In 2018, Tomb Raider arrived in cinemas. The movie – the third live-action adventure to feature Lara Croft – was conceived as a new start for the Tomb Raider franchise, with a tone and story more akin to the games.

The critical opinion of the film was mixed, although there was praise for its lead star, Alicia Vikander. Many – myself included – thought Vikander to be a true highlight of the film and the movie itself was fine, just not amazing.

But how much money did Tomb Raider 2018 make and was it classed as a hit or a miss?

In this post, I am taking a look at the box office performance of Tomb Raider 2018. Did the movie outperform its predecessors or was it a case of ‘game over’ for the film?

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How much money did Tomb Raider 2018 make at the worldwide box office?

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures

After completing its theatrical run, Tomb Raider 2018 made $274,650,803 at the worldwide box office. This figure broke down as follows:

  • $58,250,803 – Domestic
  • $216,400,000 – International

Total: $274,650,803

Sounds pretty good, right?

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Well, while $274.6 million might sound alright to you or I, and it is certainly not something to be sniffed at, it isn’t as impressive as it might seem.

From looking at the stats on Box Office Mojo, 78.8% of that $274.6 million came from the international box office. This means only a measly 21.2% came from the domestic box office (i.e. North America).

In order for a film to be classed as a hit, it needs to make back its budget (and then some) in its country of origin. This is to cover the outlay, plus any additional marketing costs which are not included in the production budget.

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Tomb Raider‘s budget was $94 million. As you can see, at just over $58.2 million, Tomb Raider 2018 fell considerably short of making its budget back in the US. Of course, if a movie doesn’t hit its production budget domestically, then the studio will look at how well the movie has done internationally.

Some films have been known to perform very well in other territories, more than making up for a poor performance back home.

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Warcraft (2016) is a good example of a film that performed waaaaay better outside the US than it did at home. Back when the movie had its theatrical run, it only managed $47,365,290 in North American cinemas. However, internationally the film was far more popular and brought in an additional $391,683,624.

Image: ©Universal Pictures

So, some films do well overseas. In the case of Tomb Raider 2018, it is pretty clear that international audiences embraced this film far more than North America audiences did.

But did that make it a hit?

Kind of… but also no.

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Tomb Raider comparison

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures

When analysing the box office returns of Tomb Raider 2018, it is worth comparing the box office results against the box office takings of the two previous entries.

The two previous movies starred Angelina Jolie and were released in 2001 and 2003, respectively. Here are their box office results:

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)

Image: ©Universal Pictures

In 2001, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider took $274,703,340 at the worldwide box office. $131+ million of this figure came from North America.

The film’s production budget was $115 million.

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Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

Image: ©Universal Pictures

In 2003, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life took $156,505,388 at the worldwide box office. $65+ million came from North America.

The film’s production budget was $95 million.

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There are a couple of points to note from this information:

  • 1) Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) just scrapped past its production budget in the US. Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life did not.
  • 2) The Cradle of Life experienced a considerable drop off at the box office when compared to the first movie. This would suggest that audiences simply weren’t that fussed about a sequel.
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Now let’s compare the information of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider with the information of Tomb Raider (2018).

As you can see, both Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider 2018 made around the same amount of money ($274 million). This is OK… but it is not amazing.

Movie studios want each new entry to make more than their predecessors. Tomb Raider 2018 only managed to equal the amount of the 2001 film, not surpass it.

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Now let’s compare Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life with Tomb Raider 2018. We can see that Tomb Raider 2018 did make more money than The Cradle of Life overall, which is encouraging, BUT it still made less domestically. The downward disinterest in the US continued.

Now, I’m not trying to bash Tomb Raider 2018, as I already noted, I thought the movie was fine. It suffered from pacing issues, but I would happily watch another. The issue here is, is the Tomb Raider movie series all that profitable?

I would argue that internationally it is, but domestically it is on a downward curve – and that’s not good.

There is no denying the film made money at the worldwide box office, but Tomb Raider 2018‘s figures – certainly in the US – were not very encouraging.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this post about Tomb Raider 2018 on It’s A Stampede! For more games-related posts, check out the recommended reads below.

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