Lara Croft: Tomb Raider:
The Cradle of Life
July 25, 2003
It's funny. Critics and fans alike could universally pan a movie. But if it scores $47.7 million in its first weekend, it's a fairly safe bet that the studio will greenlight the sequel early Monday morning.
That's pretty much what happened with Tomb Raider in June 2001. Even though it finished with $131.1 million, the strong start was enough to convince Paramount to quickly give the thumbs up. It's likely they always had faith in the franchise, as Lara Croft herself, Angelina Jolie, had already signed on for two sequels months before the first film was released.
Simon West will not be returning at director this time around. Taking the helm for the second film will be Jan de Bont, who hasn't exactly had success with sequels (Speed 2: Cruise Control), but has directed his share of hits (Twister, The Haunting). Also not returning are any of the six collaborators on the original's screenplay. Newcomer Dean Geogaris has been tapped to write the sequel.
Details on the exact storyline aren't confirmed as of now, but they appear to revolve around an underwater temple that contains Pandora's Box, which is, of course, then stolen by a crime syndicate who plan to use the Box for not very nice reasons.
Jolie's father, John Voight, who play Lara's father in the first film, is currently not signed to appear in the sequel. However, he didn't sign onto the first film until midway through filming. Complicating matters this time around, perhaps, is bad blood that has built since the production, culminating with Jolie officially dropping Voight from her full name.
Paramount has set a release date of July 25th. The plan was to originally release it in June, like the first film, but that has quickly become packed with event films already, so Paramount made the first move, claiming the last weekend in July for themselves, for now.
Until further notice, standard sequel rules apply here. Despite the negative reception of the original, the opening will be just as big or larger, with worse legs. (Tim Briody/BOP)
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