"Ip Man 3" Will Roll Punch Audiences in China on March 4th

Mike Tyson in "Ip Man 3"

For reasons unexplained, Wilson Yip’s “Ip Man 3,” the third installment of the popular martial arts franchise starring Donnie Yen, was pulled from its original December 24th release date in China.

After breaking records in Hong Kong and Malaysia and packing in audiences across neighboring countries on that initial date, the film will finally arrived in China on March 4th. Releasing the film two months later, the only concern for the studio is “Will the rampant video piracy in China hurt its box office?” We’ll see. I hope not.

Yen has been promoting “Ip Man 3” as his last martial arts film, but not last action film. As with Jet Li regarding “Fearless,” he’s probably saying that it’ll be his last film about a martial arts figure, and not the last film where he kicks ass.

Look, Yen just finished “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” in which he confirmed that he definitely uses his particular set of skills to kick lots of futuristic asses.

Plus, shortly after “Ip Man 3’s” excellent performance in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore, he and the producer are already talking about “Ip Man 4.” So the third entry being his last kung fu outing is more of a marketing ploy than anything else. With a budget of $36M, not a modest sum in Chinese terms, it’ll still have to do well in China for the fourth film to happen.

“Ip Man 3” will be released in a limited run in the U.S. on January 22nd in select theaters. I’ve noticed that, lately, distributors of Chinese films have been releasing them within weeks of their original release dates in Asia instead of years. And they’re seeing great results at the box office here. They’re making millions per picture instead of tens of thousands, which is a huge difference.

UPDATE: New posters for the film with the new release date are rolling out in China.

What is a "roll punch?"

“Ip Man 3” U.S. trailer:

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