China punishes 'Ip Man 3' distributor for box office fraud

AP News
Posted: Mar 20, 2016 1:05 AM

BEIJING (AP) — China's film authorities have suspended the license of a distributor that inflated box office figures for Hong Kong martial arts movie "Ip Man 3," according to state media.

The third instalment of the franchise starring Donnie Yen opened in mainland China on March 4 and soon attracted allegations of fraud after it reportedly earned more than 500 million yuan ($77 million) in just four days.

The movie's distributor, Dayinmu, which is also known as Beijing Max Screen, admitted to having bought 56 million yuan's ($9 million's) worth of tickets, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday.

"The conspirators fabricated more than 7,600 screenings of the film that they claimed generated 32 million yuan ($5 million) in ticket sales," Xinhua added. It cited China's film bureau under the broadcasting regulator.

No phone number was listed for Dayinmu, and it had no immediate statement on its official microblog.

Chinese cinemas and distributors have been accused of faking ticket sales in the past.