The move follows Paramount’s unusual decision earlier this month to unpick a previously-advertised deal with CJ Entertainment, its regular sub-distributor in the country, and Korea’s dominant film group.
South Korea is a key territory for the movie as top Korean star Lee Byung-hun plays a major role as a shape-shifting T-1000 android.
“’T5′ is set to open in Korea in July, 2015,” said Lotte in a statement on Wednesday. “We confirm that Lotte Entertainment has taken over Korean distribution rights to ‘T5’ as of 28 January. We apologize for any confusion caused.”
Earlier CJ said that the decision had been made by Paramount alone, and that it was not connected to a recent sex and blackmail scandal that has tarnished Lee’s name in Korea.
As an investor in the Hemisphere Tentpole Co-financing Fund, Lotte has previously had access to a small number of other Paramount-released titles, including “World War Z” in 2013. “This case is different from ‘WWZ,’ as we only signed up for ‘T5’’s domestic distribution and marketing this time,” Lotte told Variety. The spokesman declined to elaborate on whether the deal marks the beginning of a long-term partnership between Lotte and Paramount, but confirmed that the “T5” deal was only completed in the evening of Tuesday (Jan. 27).
Lotte is also set to release another Lee-starring picture, the Korean-made “Memories of the Sword,” which remains undated. “We decided to release ‘T5’ first, as its North American release date has been firmly settled and we will set the local release to fit it,” said Lotte.
Scheduled to be released in North America on July 1, “T5” is the fifth installment in the “Terminator” series, and is said to reset the series as a sequel, prequel, and reboot of the original story. Arnold Schwarzenegger reprises his role.