China's state-own film importer China Film Group has confirmed that it will import Academy Award-winner and world-wide hit Slumdog Millionaire to the mainland China market. The release date is scheduled for March 26.

The film's director Danny Boyle will be attending itsBeijing premiere next week, according to a source at China Film Group. Slumdog will be imported as one of the 20 revenue-sharing foreign films released in China each year.It will open on 400 film prints plus more than 200 digital screens.

Slumdog is one of the few Oscar-winning titles to be imported into the Chinese market in the recent years. Previous Oscar winners that came to China were big-budget blockbusters such as Titanic and The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

'We see this as a film with very different features and it will have big market potential in China. It is very different from previous India-related films that we have imported,' an executive from China Film Group's Import and Export Company told Screendaily.

He added: 'We made the decision in early February, before the results of the Academy Awards were disclosed.'

Weng Li, China Film Group's spokesperson, said the film's concern for the working classes was the main reason that the group decided to import the film.

China Film Group estimates that Slumdog is likely to gross at least $7.3m (RMB50m); and it is possible for the film to reach $14.6m (RMB100m) if marketed well.

The only concern is that some Chinese moviegoers have already seen the film on pirated DVDs or downloads. 'We are taking measures to stop further piracy of the film, to make sure people go to see the film in cinemas,' the CFG executive said.