“Expendables 4” Gets Funding Interest from “Ip Man 3” Financier
There hasn’t been much news about “The Expendables 4” lately, but I came upon this tidbit after reading about the “Ip Man 3” box office scandal.
According to the LA Times, film financier and almost billionaire Shi Jianxiang is interested in putting up the money to make “The Expendables 4.” Shi is the head of Shanghai Kuailu Investment Group, a conglomerate that invested in “Ip Man 3.”
That a Chinese company has interest in funding a fourth “Expendables” film makes sense because while each subsequent film from the action franchise was getting diminishing returns at the box office in the U.S., it was getting increasing returns from China.
In the middle kingdom, the three films made $32M, $53M, and $73M, respectively. As you can see, the trajectory is going up. And with the market having grown nearly 50% since the last “Expendables” movie in 2014, there’s even more earning potential for a fourth installment.
Both Dwayne “The Franchise Rejuvenator” Johnson and Jackie Chan have expressed interest in appearing in the fourth film. Johnson could reinvigorate the dormant franchise in the United States, and Chan would guarantee that the film will pull in at least $100M in China.
We’ll have to see where this goes. Right now, Shi has to figure out how to sail through the murky waters of the “Ip Man 3” box office fraud allegations, which has caused another of his company’s stock to plummet at the Hong Kong stock market.
UPDATE: Nevermind. Like the LA Times article said, this happened last summer. In October 2015, Variety reported that the deal was done. Shi's company would invest in the film and distribute it in China in 2017.
2ND UPDATE: Cast member Randy Couture just confirmed that "Expendables 4" will be shooting this fall.