Now that China's month-long blackout on foreign blockbusters isover, there's a bottleneck of Hollywood films waiting for release.

Disney has just confirmedthat Pixar animation Cars will bereleased in China on August 22, but the release of PiratesOf The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest has been delayed indefinitely, accordingto local media.

Disney's Beijing representative Mao Qiang declined to comment on thefilm's problems with Chinese censors, but it's understood they objected to theferocious appearance of some of the characters and supernatural elements in theplot. Mao said the company will continue to try to get the film released inChinese cinemas.

According to local daily,the Beijing News, some Chinese censorsbelieved the spirits of the dead and Captain Davy Jones' octopus beard are notsuitable for under-aged viewers. China does not have a classification system so films mustbe cleared for all ages. Pirates wasoriginally scheduled for August release during the school holidays.

Officials at China's Film Bureau also declined to comment on therejection of the film.

Although Pirates can still screen in China if it passes censorship in the second-run review,Beijing-based cinema proprietors hold little hope for the film to be releasedin 2006.

The Local Film Protection Month,which excluded blockbusters from being released from June 11 to July 10, haspushed the release of many blockbusters to August.

Cars,Fox's Garfield 2 and Sony's When A Stranger Calls, ironically ahorror film, are all scheduled for August. The September release schedulealready includes X-Men 3: The Last Standand two strong Chinese productions - Feng Xiaogang's The Banquet and Rob-B-Hoodstarring Jackie Chan.

"It's unlikely that thesefilms to go head-to-head with Pirates,"said a Beijing-based cinema manager who preferred not to be named.

Industry observers havespeculated that the real reason for the film's delay is that, like The Da Vinci Code which was pulled fromcinemas in June, it may become too successful at the box office.

The only timing availablefor Pirates' release may be Octoberand November, three months after the US release, which will mean considerable revenue lossdue to piracy, the manager said.

Meanwhile, local production Crazy Stone had a strong run during the LocalFilm Protection Month, grossing $775,000 (see separate story).