Revolver Entertainment will launch Zhang Yimou’s The Flowers of War, starring Christian Bale, exclusively at Empire Cinemas in five UK cities, starting Friday Aug 3.

The deal includes Empire Leicester Square.

Revolver will release the film on other platforms, including DVD, on Aug 6.

The $90m epic, set during the ‘Rape of Nanking’ in 1937, is about a group of refugees brought together during the war. Bale plays a mortician who poses as a priest to protect a group of young girls during the Japanese invasion of China.

Zhang, whose past films include Hero and House of Flying Daggers, noted: “Christian was especially great with the kids…he was moved by their performances, which in turn heightened his own.”