Lara Croft is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Square Enix (previously Eidos Interactive) video game series Tomb Raider. She is presented as a beautiful, intelligent, and athletic British archaeologist-adventurer who ventures into ancient, hazardous tombs and ruins around the world. Created by a team at UK developer Core Design that included Toby Gard, the character first appeared in the 1996 video game Tomb Raider.
She has also appeared in video game sequels, printed adaptations, a series of animated short films, feature films (portrayed by Angelina Jolie), and merchandise related to the series. Official promotion of the character includes a brand of apparel and accessories, action figures, and model portrayals. Croft has also been licensed for third-party promotion, including television and print advertisements, music-related appearances, and as a spokesmodel.
Tomb Raider is a video game franchise which also includes comic books, novels, theme park rides and movies, centring around the adventures of the British archaeologist Lara Croft or Lady Croft. The first six games in the series were developed by Core Design, while Crystal Dynamics developed the latest five. Two movies - Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life - have been produced, starring actress Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft, the first of which is still the highest-grossing film adaptation of a video game ever released in the US, and third worldwide.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (or simply Tomb Raider) is a 2001 action film based on the popular Tomb Raider video game series featuring the character Lara Croft portrayed by Angelina Jolie. The film was directed by Simon West and was released during the summer of 2001.
The film received primarily negative reviews from critics, who criticized the film's video game-like action sequences and senseless plot, though Jolie's performance as Croft was praised by critics and fans of the video game series alike. Despite the negative reception, the film was a financial success, ranking at number one in its opening weekend at the box office. At the time of the film's release, it was the highest-grossing video game adaptation until it was surpassed by Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, which grossed $336 million. The film is also the highest-grossing action film with a woman in the lead role, next to Sigourney Weaver's Aliens.
A sequel, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, was released in 2003, which, despite critically surpassing Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (it was regarded as an improvement over this installment), was not as financially successful, only grossing $156 million compared to Lara Croft: Tomb Raider's $274 million gross.
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (or simply Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life or Tomb Raider 2) is a 2003 action film based on the popular Tomb Raider video game series and stars Angelina Jolie as the titular Lara Croft character with supporting roles done by Gerard Butler, Ciarán Hinds, Chris Barrie, Noah Taylor, Til Schweiger, Djimon Hounsou, and Simon Yam. The film was directed by Jan de Bont and is a sequel to the 2001 film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
Like the first film, the film received mostly negative reviews, though critics noted an improvement on its predecessor particularly in the action sequences and continued to praise Jolie's performance as Lara Croft. Despite the film's critical improvement over its predecessor, it did not repeat its financial success, grossing $156 million compared to the previous instalment's $274 million.