DreamWorks Animation has moved the release date for their third installment in the Kung Fu Panda series for the second time, moving it back to a January 2016 release. Kung Fu Panda 3 was initially moved from a December release to a March 2016 release last December to avoid a release conflict with J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. The move from March to January 29, 2016, announced yesterday, will put the film in direct competition with Sony’s “The 5th Wave,” starring Chloe Grace Moretz, and Chris Pine’s “The Finest Hours.”
This installment of the “Kung Fu Panda” franchise will be made in China as a co-production with DreamWorks Animation, marking the first time that any major Hollywood animated feature film has been co-produced with a Chinese firm. This will be the first animated feature to be produced by Shanghai-based Oriental DreamWorks. The entertainment firm was launched in February 2012 to develop and produce Chinese animated and live-action material for distribution in China and worldwide. Oriental DreamWorks is a joint venture between DWA and China’s three largest media companies, China Media Capital, Shanghai Media Group and Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd.
DreamWorks Animation has been struggling recently, which has resulted in the closing of a studio and a massive layoff. The studio rebounded recently with its latest release, “Home.” The film that featuring the voices of Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and Jim Parsons grossed nearly $130 million domestically and $243 million worldwide, giving the studio a much needed boost in revenue.