It will be released by China Film Group. Korean reports say that it will have an opening in more than 3,000 theaters before the end of 2014, but sources at CJ Entertainment, the Korean group which owns the rights, said that the release date is not yet finalized.
Import terms have not been disclosed, but it is understood to be a modified revenue sharing deal.
The film stars Choi Min-sik (“Lucy,” “Oldboy”) as a 16th century naval commander. The story was seen as stirringly patriotic for Korean audiences, and may have political appeal in China as it sees a tiny Korean fleet defeat Japanese forces despite overwhelming odds in favour of Japan.
“Chinese people are aware of the naval battle and are greatly curious about a film that drew a record number of viewers in South Korea,” said Lee Ki-yun, CJ E&M head of production and distribution, China, said.
The film was released in late July and scored 17.6 million spectator in a run that finished only last week. At current exchange rates, that was worth $127.7 million.
It has already been released in the U.S., Indonesia and Thailand. Others including Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and India are scheduled.