The distributor of Chinese titles will release the erotic arthouse hit exclusively through the Odeon chain on Sept 2 and has enlisted Metrodome to manage the theatrical release.

China Lion and Metrodome will also partner on an exclusive ancillary deal surrounding Sex And Zen 3D: Extreme Ecstasy, which has grossed more than $1.1m in Australia on six screens and sold out opening weekends in New Zealand and Hong Kong.

The North American release will start on Aug 12 through Pegasus Motion Pictures in the US and Cineplex exclusively in Canada.

Sex And Zen 3D: Extreme Ecstasy is an adaptation of the classical novel The Carnal Prayer Mat and recounts the sexual exploits of a young Ming Dynasty scholar.

China Lion is a joint venture between China-based Jiang Yanmingand New Zealand-based CEO Milt Barlow. The company unveiled US distribution plans last October when it announced it had entered into an exclusive partnership with AMC Entertainment to release Chinese titles in the market, starting with the hit Aftershock.

“This will be China Lion’s first extension into the UK but we believe with exclusive partners of the quality of Odeon Cinemas and Metrodome not only will we be successful with Sex & Zen 3D, but we’ll lay the foundations for future China Lion releases,” CEO Barlow said.

“We’re delighted to be working with China Lion Film Distribution on the UK release of 3D Sex And Zen, for it’s been a phenomenon Down Under and now we look forward to bringing it to UK audiences,” Metrodome head of distribution Jezz Vernon said. “It’s a truly unforgettable cinema experience.”