Before the premiere, Annila and Chinese lead actors, Zhang Jingchu, Dang Hao and Cheng Taishen, went on a week's publicity tour, attending gala performances in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Qingdao. The Oct 24 opening sold 20,000 tickets nationwide.
Based on the Kalevala, Finland's national epic (1935) - which inspired JRR Tolkien for Lord of the Rings - Jade Warrior was written by Annila with producer Petri Jokiranta, mixing a love story and a kung fu actioner, traversing contemporary Finland and Iron Age China.
Starring Tommy Eronen, Markku Peltola and Krista Kosonen with the Chinese cast, it tells the story of a lovestruck sword hero in ancient China, fighting against his destiny. To be reunited with his love, he has to battle in the cold north of modern day Finland.
"Initial screenings to exhibitors and media in China were very well-received, and prompted us to a launch which comes very close to major Hollywood movies," explained vp marketing and distribution Ellen Eliasoph, of Warner China Film HG Corporation.
The US-Chinese company, which expected total admissions to exceed 300,000 admissions, co-produced the $3.5m(Euros 2.75 million) feature set up by Jokiranta and Tero Kaukomaa, of Finland's Blind Spot Pictures, and San Fu Maltha, of The Netherlands' FuWorks.
Domestically Jade Warrior was released by Sandrew Metronome Finland on Oct 13, and has so far pulled in 60,000 customers.
Having marketed the movie in Toronto, Paris-based Rezo Films International has licensed it to 30 territories, including Russia (CIS) and Japan.