Ip Man (film series)

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Ip Man
Series logo
Directed byWilson Yip (1-3,5)
Yuen Woo-ping (4)
Written byEdmond Wong (1-5)
Chan Tai-lee (1,3,5)
Jil Leung (3)
Dana Fukazawa (5)
Jil Leung Lai Yin (5)
Based onIp Man
Produced byRaymond Wong (1-5)
Donnie Yen (4-5)
Wilson Yip (5)
StarringDonnie Yen (1-3,5)
CinematographyO Sing-Pui (1)
Poon Hang-sang (2)
Kenny Tse (3)
Cheng Siu-Keung (5)
Edited byCheung Ka-fai (1-3,5)
Music byKenji Kawai (1-3,5)
Day Tai (4)
Dreams Salon Entertainment Culture (3)
Pegasus Motion Pictures (3)
Starbright Communications (3)
Super Hero Films (3)
Orange Sky Golden Harvest (4)
Mandarin Motion Pictures (4-5)
Enlight Pictures (4)
Young Enlight Productions (4)
Tin Tin Film Production (5)
Distributed byMandarin Films (1-2)
Pegasus Motion Pictures (3)
Universal Studios (4)
Well Go USA (5)
Release date
Running time
534 minutes
CountryHong Kong
LanguagesChinese (dialect: Cantonese
BudgetUS$140.6 million
Box officeUS$426.2 million

Ip Man is a series of Hong Kong martial arts films based on the life events of the Wing Chun master of the same name. The progenitor of the series was Ip Man (2008), which was followed by three sequels: Ip Man 2 (2010), Ip Man 3 (2015), and Ip Man 4: The Finale (2019), as well as the spin-off Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (2018). All four main films were directed by Wilson Yip, written by Edmond Wong, produced by Raymond Wong, and starred Donnie Yen as the titular character. Mandarin Films released the first two films in Hong Kong, which earned more than $37 million with a budget of around $24.6 million. As of 2023, the four main films and the spin-off have grossed $426.2 million worldwide combined.

Donnie Yen has mentioned that each film has a unique theme, that the first Ip Man film was about "survival", Ip Man 2 focuses on "making a living and adaptation", while Ip Man 3 focuses on "life" itself.[1] The fourth film was originally announced to be the last film in the main series and concludes with the death of Ip Man;[2] however a fifth film was announced in May 2023.[3]


Ip Man (2008)[edit]

Ip Man was directed by Wilson Yip and written by Edmond Wong.[4] It was Raymond Wong's idea to develop a biographical film about Wing Chun master Ip Man. Principal photography began in Shanghai in March 2008 and ended in August. The film was released in Hong Kong on 18 December 2008 by Mandarin Films, and earned around US$21.8 million against the US$11.7 million budget.[5] Donnie Yen portrayed the role of Ip Man in the film, set in the 1930s, focuses on events in Ip's life in the city of Foshan during the Sino-Japanese War.[4]

Ip Man 2 (2010)[edit]

The sequel is set in 1949, when Ip Man moved to Hong Kong and attempts to promote Wing Chun in the region.[6] It was intended to focus on the relationship between Ip Man and his most famed disciple Bruce Lee.[7] The film was directed by Yip and written by Edmond Wong, while Raymond Wong produced the film and was released in Hong Kong on 29 April 2010 by Mandarin Films. The film grossed more than $50 million against the budget of $12.9 million.[8][9]

Ip Man 3 (2015)[edit]

Principal photography began in Shanghai on 25 March 2015, which Yip is again directing the film based on the script by Wong.[10] Donnie Yen is again portraying the role of Ip Man, along with him Mike Tyson is also playing a role of a street fighter.[10] Bruce Lee's character was initially supposed to be featured in CGI, because the producers could not find an actor who could portray Lee convincingly,[10] but Danny Chan was eventually cast in the role.[11]

Principal photography for Ip Man 3 began on 25 March 2015, and the film was released in Hong Kong on 24 December 2015.

Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (2018)[edit]

Max Zhang reprises his role as Cheung Tin Chi from Ip Man 3 in this spin-off film. Directed by Yuen Woo-ping, it also stars Tony Jaa, Dave Bautista and Michelle Yeoh.[12]

Ip Man 4: The Finale (2019)[edit]

On 30 September 2016, Yen announced via Facebook that he and Wilson Yip would continue the franchise with Ip Man 4.[13] The film was released on 20 December 2019, and portrays Ip Man traveling to San Francisco to secure a spot for his son at a local school. Meanwhile, he crosses paths with his student, Bruce Lee, who had set up a Wing Chun school there. The film ends with Ip Man’s death from cancer in 1972.[3] The film was originally announced to be the last film in the main series.[2]

Future films[edit]

Master Z sequel[edit]

In April 2019, it was reported that Max Zhang is set to reprise his role in a sequel to Master Z: Ip Man Legacy. The budget of the sequel was reported to be $13 million, significantly less than the first film's budget of $28 million.[14][15]

Ip Man 5[edit]

On 18 May 2023, a new Ip Man film titled Ip Man 5 was announced by Mandarin Motion Pictures at the Cannes Film Festival. Donnie Yen also unveiled the poster for the film on his Instagram.[3]

Recurring cast and characters[edit]

List indicator(s)

This section includes characters who have appeared in a film in the series.

  • An empty, dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film.
  •  A indicates an appearance through archival footage or audio.
Character Film
Ip Man Ip Man 2 Ip Man 3 Master Z: Ip Man Legacy Ip Man 4: The Finale
Ip Man Donnie Yen Donnie YenA Donnie Yen
Cheung Wing-sing Lynn Hung Lynn Hung
Ip Chun Li Chak
Chow Ching-chuen Simon Yam
Chow Kwong-yiu Calvin Cheng
Kam Shan-chau Louis Fan
Fatso Kent Cheng Kent Cheng
Liang Gen Ngo Ka-nin Ngo Ka-nin
Law-Chun-tin Lo Mang Lo Mang
Bruce Lee Jiang Dai-Yan Danny Chan Danny Chan
Cheung Tin Chi Max Zhang
Cheung Fong Can Cui Henry Zhang
Ma King-sang Patrick Tam
Ip Ching Wang Yan Shi He Ye


Box office[edit]

Film Hong Kong release date Box office gross (US$) Budget (US$) Ref
Hong Kong China United States and Canada Other territories Worldwide
Ip Man December 19, 2008 $3,300,847 $13,728,640 $5,084,936 $22,114,423 $11.7 million [16][17]
Ip Man 2 April 29, 2010 $5,559,550 $33,973,412[18][19] $205,675 $9,983,317 $49,721,954 $12.9 million [20][21]
Ip Man 3 December 16, 2015 $7,842,871 $124,101,198 $2,679,437 $22,221,247 $156,844,753 $36 million [22]
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy December 20, 2018 $1,976,450 $19,490,366 $209,454 $156,379 $21,832,649 $28 million [23]
Ip Man 4: The Finale December 20, 2019 $3,725,263 $165,290,606 $3,956,031 $2,685,469 $175,657,369 $52 million [24]
Total $22,404,981 $356,584,222 $7,050,597 $40,131,348 $426,171,148 $140.6 million

Critical response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Ip Man 85% (27 reviews)[25] 59% (9 reviews)[26]
Ip Man 2 96% (28 reviews)[27] 67% (13 reviews)[28]
Ip Man 3 76% (51 reviews)[29] 57% (14 reviews)[30]
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy 89% (37 reviews)[31] 72% (14 reviews)[32]
Ip Man 4: The Finale 87% (31 reviews)[33] 62% (11 reviews)[34]

Home media[edit]

Ip Man Trilogy, a Blu-ray compilation that features the first three films in the series, was released by Well Go USA in November 2016. The Blu-ray also includes special features such as deleted scenes, "behind-the-scenes" featurette and interviews with Donnie Yen and Mike Tyson.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Donnie Yen and Mike Tyson exchange blows". The New Straits Times. 18 December 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b Alladin, Unus (23 September 2019). "Donnie Yen confirms 'Ip Man 4' will be final instalment of series". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 25 September 2019. Retrieved 11 June 2023.
  3. ^ a b c Francisco, Eric (18 May 2023). "'Ip Man 5'? Donnie Yen Announces Sequel to Movie Where His Character Definitely Died". Inverse. Retrieved 18 May 2023.
  4. ^ a b Elley, Derek (20 January 2009). "Review: 'Ip Man'". Variety. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Ip Man (2008)". boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  6. ^ "News: IP MAN Sequel Gets The Green Light!". Twitchfilm. 26 November 2008. Archived from the original on 26 August 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Ip Man 2 May Still Focus on... Ip Man – Wu-Jing.org". wu-jing.org. 6 March 2009. Archived from the original on 25 February 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster". boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Three Yip Man Biopics to Commence Filming Soon – Wu-Jing.org". wu-jing.org. 27 July 2009. Archived from the original on 14 April 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  10. ^ a b c Karen Chu (25 March 2015). "Former Boxing Champ Mike Tyson Signs Up for Hong Kong Action Flick 'Ip Man 3'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  11. ^ Tsui, Clarence (17 December 2015). "'Ip Man 3': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  12. ^ Kerr, Elizabeth (12 October 2018). "'Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy' ('Ye wen wai zhuan: zhang tian zhi'): Film Review | Busan 2018". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  13. ^ Chew Hui Min (30 September 2016). "Donnie Yen will make Ip Man 4, despite hinting previously he was retiring from gongfu films". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  14. ^ Vo, David (27 April 2019). "MAX ZHANG To Return For MASTER Z Sequel". MAActionCinema. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  15. ^ Bona, JJ (26 April 2019). "Max Zhang to return for 'Master Z: Ip Man Legacy' Part II". City on Fire. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  16. ^ "Ip Man". The Numbers. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  17. ^ "Ip Man". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  18. ^ "Ip Man 2". Maoyan (in Chinese). Tianjin Maoyan Weiying Culture Media. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  19. ^ "Official exchange rate (LCU per US$, period average) – China". World Bank. 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  20. ^ "Ip Man 2". The Numbers. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  21. ^ "Ip Man 2". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  22. ^ "Ip Man 3". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  23. ^ "Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy (2018)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  24. ^ "Ip Man 4: The Finale (2019)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  25. ^ "Ip Man". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  26. ^ "Ip Man". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  27. ^ "Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  28. ^ "Ip Man 2". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  29. ^ "Ip Man 3". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  30. ^ "Ip Man 3". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  31. ^ "Master Z: Ip Man Legacy". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  32. ^ "Master Z: Ip Man Legacy". Metacritic. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  33. ^ "Ip Man 4: The Finale". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  34. ^ "Ip Man 4: The Finale". Metacritic. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  35. ^ Gopaul, Sarah (13 November 2016). "Review: New on DVD for 8 November (Includes first-hand account)". Digital Journal. Retrieved 15 November 2016.