Po the Panda has decided he does not want to do battle with Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia.
According to BoxOfficeMojo, Dreamworks Animation has officially moved "[Kung Fu Panda 3](movie:458981)" from it's original date, December 23, 2015 to March 18, 2016.
The seemingly obvious reason for the move is that the studio likely did not want the latest installment of it's smash franchise it's to open during the opening week of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens", which likely will have record-breaking numbers.
It is slightly surprising that Dreamworks Animation chose to run rather than fight. The "Kung Fu Panda" franchise is quite healthy - and you would think they would at least move it somewhere where it could still play during the Holiday Season.
The first "Kung Fu Panda" generated $215.4 million domestically - $243 million when adjusted for inflation - when it was released on June 6, 2008. "Kung Fu Panda 2" dipped slightly when it was released May 26, 2011; it generated $165 million domestically - $166 million when adjusted for inflation.
But Dreamworks obviously feels "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will be like the Death Star and destroy everything in it's path.
They may be right. The original "Star Wars" - not counting Special Editions and the like - has generated $1.2 BILLION in today's dollars and in the second-most attended film in history.
The last time a new "Star Wars" film came out after years of pent-up demand that launched a new trilogy, 1999's"Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace" generated a whopping $431 million domestically, which is an astounding total of $688 million in today's dollars!
Heck, when Jedi fans were given a film they had seen countless times with a few tweaks and added scenes, "Star Wars (Special edition) grossed $138 million in theaters in 1997 - which is $244.5 million in today's dollars.
That means more people spent money to see a "Special Edition" of "Star Wars" than every film released so far this year, except for "Guardians of the Galaxy", "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1", "Captain America: The Winter Soldier", "The LEGO Movie", and "Transformers: Age of Extinction".
Now THAT is incredible!
One can't help but think "Kung Fu Panda 3" will be hurt by moving to March 2016, but no one knows.
It's not like they're alone. The only major film opening the same MONTH as "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" - with Po now out of the picture - is the fifth installment of a film franchise that, if it chooses to stay scheduled a week after "[Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](movie:711158)", will have a most appropriate title.
"Mission Impossible 5".