Warner Bros has released a VR tie-in experience for the upcoming Tomb Raider film called “Lara’s Escape.” The free VR experience debuted Tuesday for Oculus Rift and continues Warner Bros.’ ongoing trend of using VR to promote its theatrical releases.
In terms of movie marketing, Warner Bros. has been an active player in the VR space, offering tie-ins for films including Suicide Squad, Justice League, Blade Runner 2049 and IT. The studio is also tapping into the growing escape room market with a branded experience at Escape Hotel Los Angeles February 22 to March 24—that experience, in partnership with IMAX, will drop guests into a tomb in which they must escape in the time allotted.
The upcoming film is loosely based on the 2013 reboot of the popular video game franchise, in which Lara Croft embarks on her first adventure. Croft’s backstory has changed several times over the history of the video game series since its first title launched in 1996, so fans shouldn’t be surprised if it changes once again for the movie.
Warner Bros. Tomb Raider movie marketing is banking on the popularity of Square Enix’s iconic character as well as the star power of Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina). Lara Croft—Tomb Raider’s titular character—is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most recognized video game character.
Tomb Raider movie marketing kicked off full swing in January with #TombRaiderTuesday—releasing new teasers and announcements each Tuesday until the movie premieres on March 16. Previous posts have included interviews with actress Alicia Vikander and inviting Instagram followers to vote for their favorite Lara Croft weapon.
“Tomb Raider: Lara’s Escape” challenges users to survive a trap-filled tomb armed with only a bow and climbing axe. The trailer offers a brief glimpse of using Lara’s bow to slide down a rope. In the style of an escape room, users embody Lara Croft as they explore the tomb with a flashlight, then use their limited tools to climb out.
At least Warner Bros. has brand recognition on their side, riding high on the game’s 20th anniversary. The studio has a reputation to uphold, however. Despite its campiness and mixed ratings, the original 2001 Tomb Raider film starring Angelina Jolie is still the top-grossing video game movie in the US.