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Kung Fu Panda 3 is a 2016 3D American-Chinese computer-animated action comedy martial arts film, produced by DreamWorks Animation and Oriental DreamWorks, and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni. The film was written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, produced by Melissa Cobb, and executive produced by Guillermo del Toro. It is a sequel to the 2011 film Kung Fu Panda 2 and the third installment in the Kung Fu Panda franchise. The film features the voices of Jack Black, J. K. Simmons, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, David Cross, James Hong, and Kate Hudson. Also Jean-Claude Van Damme and Randall Duk Kim reprise their roles as Master Croc and Oogway from the two films.
The film received a limited release in China on January 22 for a special 3 hours peak preview and is scheduled to be released day and date starting from January 28 in South Korea and Russia and on January 29 in the United States and Canada in 3D and premium large formats and IMAX in China with other markets scheduled to be released in March and April.
In the Chinese Spirit Realm, Grand Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) fights against Kai (J. K. Simmons) and has his chi stolen. Grand Master Oogway warns Kai that Po (Jack Black), the Dragon Warrior, will stop him.
Meanwhile, Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) announces his retirement and passes the role of teacher to Po. He discovers that teaching kung fu is not easy, as the Furious Five members Master Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Master Crane (David Cross), Master Mantis (Seth Rogen), Master Viper (Lucy Liu), and Master Monkey (Jackie Chan) are injured as a result. Po is demoralized as a teacher, but is told by Master Shifu to be himself.
Po heads home to his adoptive father Mr. Ping (James Hong) at his noodle shop where a panda named Li Shan (Bryan Cranston) breaks Po's dumpling-eating record. They both soon learn that Li is Po's biological father and they bond with each other much to Ping's jealousy. After introducing Li to Shifu and his friends, the Valley of Peace is suddenly attacked by past Kung Fu Masters turned into jade statues under the control of Kai. The team then learn through research that Kai was Grand Master Oogway's old friend who fought with him long ago, but was banished to the spirit realm for 500 years by Grand Master Oogway when he grew thirsty for the power of Chi. Kai can only be defeated by a master of true Chi, which they discover was an innate ability of the panda colonies. Po and Li, along with Mr. Ping, travel to the village where Po lived originally while Shifu and the Furious Five stay behind. Although Po is eager to learn chi, he first learns the life of a panda in the village, which he
feels grateful to be a part of.
After learning that all the Kung Fu masters are missing, Master Shifu sends Master Crane and Master Mantis to find them. Master Crane and Master Mantis join with Master Bear (Fred Tatasciore), Master Croc (Jean-Claude Van Damme), and Master Chicken (Stephen Kearin) to confront Kai, but they all have their chi stolen. Kai then arrives at the Jade Palace and destroys it, taking everybody's chi except for Master Tigress's who was told by Master Shifu to find and warn Po of the upcoming danger. Afraid, Li and the pandas prepare to run away. When Po demands that Li teach him chi, he responds that they had all forgotten chi, and that he only proposed to bring him home with him to spare him from Kai's wrath. Hurt over his father's misdirection, Po isolates himself and trains vigorously to confront Kai. Mr. Ping admits to Li that he was initially worried Po would be taken away from him. He then realizes that being a part of Po's life was what made Po happy, and that they must stay by his sid
Master Tigress confronts Po and tells him that he cannot defeat Kai without continuing to discover the secret of chi. However, Li and the villagers decide to stay and ask Po to train them so they can fight back. Po agrees and teaches them using their everyday activities as their assets and begins their plan to save their village. Kai arrives and confronts Po, who had been waiting for him. Kai sends his minions to capture Po, but they are held off by the pandas and Master Tigress, distracting Kai. The plan works, but Kai gains the upper hand in their fight. Po grabs Grand Master Oogway's chi and uses the Wuxi finger hold, sending them both to the spirit realm. They fight again, but Kai captures Po and prepares to steal his chi. Using what they learned from Po and about who they are, Li, Tigress, Mr. Ping and the pandas are able to use their chi to save him. Po becomes a true master of chi and destroys Kai by overloading him with his chi, freeing the Kung Fu masters in the process. In
the spirit realm, Grand Master Oogway expresses his happiness to Po about how much he has grown.
By choice, Po returns to the mortal world. They all return to the Jade Palace where they continue practicing their chi.
In 2010, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg announced that the Kung Fu Panda franchise was planned to have six movies, or "chapters", altogether. In July 2012, Kung Fu Panda 3 was officially confirmed by Bill Damaschke, DWA's chief creative officer.
The film was made as a co-production between DreamWorks Animation and Oriental DreamWorks, a Shanghai-based studio, founded in 2012 as a partnership between DreamWorks Animation and Chinese companies. One third of the film was made in China, and the rest in the United States, at DWA. This was the first time that any major American animated feature film had been co-produced with a Chinese firm. The filmmakers worked closely with SAPPRFT to ensure the film's release in China. As a film with a co-production status in China, it allowed the production companies to circumvent the country's strict import quota and take a greater share of box-office revenue than imported films. To ensure the film's success in China, in addition to the English version, the Chinese version of the film was also fully animated, making them the only versions that will have the characters' lips synchronized with their voices.
Kung Fu Panda 3 saw the crew from the second film reunite, including director Jennifer Yuh Nelson, producer Melissa Cobb, screenplay writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, and Guillermo del Toro as executive producer. Initially, Nelson was directing the film alone, but by February 2015, Alessandro Carloni had joined her as a co-director. According to the report, Carloni, who was an animation supervisor on the first film and a story artist on the second, joined Nelson following her request to strengthen "the director's bench" to ensure that the film is completed in a timely manner. Dennis Haysbert and Michelle Yeoh were supposed to return to voice as Master Ox and Soothsayer, but they didn't in the third film.
On April 9, 2013, DreamWorks Animation announced that Rebel Wilson, Bryan Cranston, and Mads Mikkelsen had joined the cast of the film. By April 2015, J.K. Simmons had replaced Mikkelsen, whose character had been rewritten. Five months later, Wilson was replaced by Kate Hudson due to an extended production schedule. The studio had to reanimate previously completed scenes to reflect Hudson's interpretation of the character.
The film's antagonist, Kai, is the first supernatural villain of the Kung Fu Panda series. Described by del Toro as "the most formidable villain yet," the creators wanted him to stand apart from his predecessors. Nelson reasoned: "You can't go brawler because Tai Lung was brawler. You can't go smarter because Shen was smarter. Where can you go? You have to go supernatural, bigger, and even more intimidating."
On July 25, 2014, it was announced that Hans Zimmer would return to score the film. The score includes performances from renowned Asian musicians such as Chinese pianist Lang Lang, Chinese cellist Jian Wang, Erhu virtuoso Karen Hua-Qi Ottosson returned for her 3rd time on Kung Fu Panda 3. This time not only on Erhu but also Zhong Hu and Gao Hu, erhu musician Guo Gan, and Taiwanese pop singer Jay Chou and Canadian-Taiwanese young singer Patrick Brasca. The soundtrack album was released on January 22, 2016. John Powell, who collaborated with Zimmer on the first two films, did not return for the third instalment because of his work on Pan. A portion of the score includes a melody from the song "I'm So Sorry" by the rock band Imagine Dragons.
In September 2012, it was announced that Kung Fu Panda 3 would be released on March 18, 2016. On April 9, 2013, the film's release date was moved forward to December 23, 2015. In December 2014, the film was moved back to its original release date of March 18, 2016, to avoid competition with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In April 2015, the release date was once again shifted, this time to January 29, 2016. AMC Theatres partnered with Fox and DWA to play the movie in Mandarin at seven theaters and in Spanish at 14 locations in the U.S and Canada meaning there will be a mix of subtitled and dubbed formats of Kung Fu Panda 3. This will mark the first time that AMC is playing a major theatrical release in dubbed/subtitled Mandarin. The film had a day-and-date release starting from January 28 in South Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Jamaica and Puerto Rico and China and the U.S. and Canada on January 29, 2016. Other markets will follow on March and April. According to Deadline.com, the strategy be
hind such a staggered release was to take advantage of certain opportunistic dates which presented themselves such as the Chinese New Year in February for China.
In the United States and Canada, early tracking suggested the film will open to about $40â"45 million with Box Office Mojo reporting as high as $53 million opening, which is on par with Kung Fu Panda 2's $47.7 million opening in 2011 but much lower than the orginal film's $60.2 million opening in 2008. However, DreamWorks Animation and Fox were being more conservative suggesting a "mid $40 million" opening. The lower end of the projection was because of winter and only 4% of all Kâ"12 schools are off per Rentrak. According to digital data monitered and compiled by Moviepilot from various online social activities like Facebook likes, YouTube views, tweets and Google search among others, it predicted an opening of $48â"50 million. Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyts at Rentrak said the film, "should land somewhere between the first two installments" noting that after moviegoers â" mostly from the East Coast â" were affected by the 2016 United States blizzard, patrons, mostly famili
es, would be on the look-out for entertainment movies which Kung Fu Panda 3 delivers. On January 27, two days before the film's release, Fandango reported that Kung Fu Panda 3 was the top advance ticket seller for the weekend, outstripping previous DWA films Home as well as Kung Fu Panda 2 at the same point in their sale cycles. Box office pundits also noted that the film didn't face any serious competition with its counterparts of newly released films such as The Finest Hours and Fifty Shades of Black, as well as holdovers The Revenant and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as all are expected to gross around $10 million. In China, expectations were high for the film with Nancy Tartaglione of Deadline.com reporting a bigger opening weekend than the U.S. and a bigger total gross. Conservative estimates for its Middle Kingdom opening were at $35 million and rising to well upwards of $50 million. Even before the film's official release in China, it was already projected to emerge as the hi
ghest-grossing animated film there, a record currently held by Monkey King: Hero Is Back ($153 million), since it had the added benefit of opening a week before the Chinese New Year, as well as Valentine's Day and debuting amidst the school holidays, the Lunar New Year blackout period in which foreign films are banned from entering the state meaning lesser competition and longer legs, and since it has the special privilege to run throughout the period and is also not limited to running 30 days in theaters.
The film was not screened for previews in the U.S. On its opening day, it made $10.5 million which is the lowest among the series but nonetheless topped the box office. The demographics on its opening day were evenly split with 56% women, and 58% of the crowd under 25. During its opening weekend, it earned an estimated $41 million from 3,955 theaters, easily topping the box office and marking the third biggest January opening, but recorded the lowest opening among the series. While the opening figure maybe low, it is not very disappointing considering the fact that it opened at the end of January during which most kids are off to school in relation to a summer release.
Inernationally, the film earned $75.7 million in its opening weekend from six overseas markets.
The film was released in China on January 22, 2016 in a limted release, a week before its United States release. It had a 3-hour special sneak preview where it earned $6.4 million from two different versions of the film topping the daily box office charts. This broke the previous Saturday preview record held by Surprise: Journey to the West. Buoyed by good word-of-mouth, it had a single day opening of Â¥107 million ($16.3 million) from over 15,000 screens which is the biggest of 2016 thus far and second biggest for an animated movie behind the $18.8 million opening of Minions in 2015 and uncluding previews from its Saturday showings earned a total of $23.1 million (unofficial figure) which is one of the biggest opening and single day gross in China. It grossed a total of $40â"43 million (including previews) in just two days. Through its opening weekend, it earned an estimated total of Â¥339.3 million ($51.5 million) from 206,385 screenings viewed by over 8.86 million people and incl
uding previews made Â¥384.4 million ($58.4 million).
Kung Fu Panda 3 has received generally positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 80%, based on 74 reviews, with an average rating of 6.6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Kung Fu Panda 3 boasts the requisite visual splendor, but like its rotund protagonist, this sequel's narrative is also surprisingly nimble, adding up to animated fun for the whole family". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 66 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". In CinemaScore polls, cinema audiences gave the film an average score of "A" on an A+ to F scale. Women as well as under 25 gave the film an "A+" grade.
IGN gave the film score of 8.5 out of 10, saying, "Kung Fu Panda 3 offers a fun-filled, action-packed conclusion to DreamWorks' endearing animated series." Screen Rant awarded it 2.5 out of 5, saying "At times, itâ™s a beautiful movie, filled with likable characters, as well as digestible gags, that should keep kids smiling and giggling â" but, with a plethora of more ambitious animated options out there, passable might not justify the money (or time) required for a viewing." Glenn Kenny of RogerEbert.com awarded it 3 out of 4 stars, saying "In spite of its abundant action â" and for all the interspecies mashups, this is as much an action-adventure animated movie as it is a funny-animal animated movie â" is a pretty relaxing experience for the adult viewer." Entertainment Weekly awarded it a score of B, saying it was "Just complicated enough to reward steady viewers and just simple enough for parent escorts to enjoy without much prior knowledge." The Hollywood Reporter awarded it
a positive review, saying "While the storyline, in which Jack Blackâ™s dumpling-downing Dragon Warrior is reunited with his biological father, doesnâ™t quite fulfill its prophecies, dramatically speaking, visually speaking itâ™s all quite impressive â" one of those very rare animated features that completely justifies its 3D glasses." The Escapist awarded it 3 out of 5, saying "It's a perfectly fine film, and if all you want is "more of the same," it won't disappoint." Forbes awarded it a mildly positive review, saying "While visually gorgeous and generally entertaining, this third installment of the DreamWorks Animation franchise is a comedown from the first two superb entries." Variety also awarded it a positive review, saying "A winning lightness of touch prevails in this delightful continuation of the durable DreamWorks franchise."
Kung Fu Panda: Showdown of Legendary Legends is a single and multiplayer RPG martial arts video game that features characters from all three Kung Fu Panda films. Developed by Vicious Cycle Software and published by Little Orbit, the game was released on December 1, 2015 for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. The Wii U version was released on December 15, 2015.
On December 3, 2010, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said that perhaps the series could see three more sequels after Kung Fu Panda 3, bringing it to a six-film series.
In January 13, 2016, Collider asked the filmmakers of Kung Fu Panda 3 about the possibility of a fourth film. Co-director Jennifer Yuh Nelson said, "Itâ™s one at a time. We want to make this a perfect jewel, and then weâ™ll see what happens after that." Co-director Alessandro Carloni said, "With the sequels, we donâ™t want to try to have them feel open-ended. We want it to feel like a completed journey, and we feel this movie does. And then, if a fantastic story presents itself, great."
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