Angelina Jolie’s Cameo Dreams Dashed Over $273 Million Film Return Dispute

It’s possible that Margot Robbie has unknowingly paved the way for Mattel’s toys to become the subject of live-action films after the tremendous success of Barbie on the big screen.

Barbie (Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling).

The movie industry has long exploited nostalgia by turning beloved hobbies or franchises into blockbuster hits. Barbie, played by Margot Robbie, has recently joined the trend and has been raking in millions at the box office. However, this is not a new phenomenon. In the late 90s and early 2000s, iconic gaming franchises were also turned into movies, such as Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie. The franchise’s video game adaptation was a massive success, grossing over $1.2 billion by 2002. Though Margot Robbie may be leading the toy-to-movie trend now, Angelina Jolie was once the beautiful and popular face that tried to push the game-to-movie trend decades earlier.

Angelina Jolie in Eternals.

The beloved character of Lara Croft quickly caught the attention of Hollywood decision-makers, who wasted no time in developing a movie based on her adventures. To lead the movie series, they brought in the equally admired household name of Angelina Jolie, which proved to be a smart move. While the script did not manage to capture the attention of video-game fans and other moviegoers, the aura of Lara and Jolie was enough to attract fans to theaters. The first movie, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), made a good profit with a global collection of $273 million, including nearly $50 million in the opening weekend. However, the hype died down quickly, and the sequel failed to earn as much, making just over $150 million in 2003. Jolie understood that the love for Lara had reached its limit and stepped away from the franchise after the second movie, explaining she was happy with how it turned out. Even the producers shifted away from game adaptations for over a decade before starting to work on the third Tomb Raider-influenced movie, this time without Jolie.

Alicia Vikander in Tomb Raider.

The movie, under the name Tomb Raider, starred Alicia Vikander as the lead character Lara who is mesmerized by the enigma of her father’s vanishing. The director Roar Uthaug made an effort to align the third sequel with the game, making it more immersive than ever. It’s uncertain if that’s why Angelina Jolie was not able to make it even for a small role in the film.

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