Like many DreamWorks films that were put on their ever-changing release slate from 2012 to now, Kung Fu Panda 3 has been moved yet again.
The second sequel in the successful series was first pegged for March 2016 back in September 2012, when DreamWorks unveiled a giant slate that went all the way up to fall 2016. Of course, DreamWorks’ slate changed over time. Kung Fu Panda 3 then found itself in December 2015; December 23, 2015 to be exact. But then Disney announced that Star Wars: The Force Awakens would open five days earlier. After many months, DreamWorks finally moved Kung Fu Panda 3 to March 18, 2016—the slot it used to occupy.
DreamWorks has moved it yet again. It’s now set to open on January 29, 2016.
Why? DreamWorks probably intends to release the film a little before next year’s Chinese New Year, which occurs on February 8th. This was probably done because Kung Fu Panda 3 is a co-production with Oriental DreamWorks, the studio’s China-based unit. It’s also that studio’s first film.
It’s certainly an unexpected date for a sequel to two summer movie events, even more so than the March spot it used to hold. It’s arguably a great date, too. March 18, 2016 was two weeks away from Disney Animation’s Zootopia, the same day The Divergent Series: Allegiant Part I is set to open, and a week before Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. This date gives it a lot more breathing room, as it’ll be opening against smaller fare like Touchstone’s The Finest Hours and an untitled New Line horror film. It opens two weeks after ToonBox’s The Nut Job 2, and two weeks before Illumination’s The Secret Life of Pets. It’s also over a month away from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Kung Fu Panda 3 probably would’ve still made a lot at the domestic box office if it kept its original March 2016 release, given the success of the previous entries, but this release date gives it a chance to do even better.
Of course, above all, it’s great that we are the getting the film earlier than expected.
What do you think of this release date? Is it better for the film? Sound off below!
Edited by: Kelly Conley