In an attempt to squash rumours of an alleged ban on US movies before March, China Film Group Corporation (CFGC) has announced that Golden Globe winner Atonement, plus two other foreign titles, will be released in China in February.

State-owned CFGC is the only film company allowed to import foreign films into China. According CFGC spokesperson Weng Li, Sony's 2007 film The Water Horse will be released on Feb 16 (made by partners including the UK's Ecosse and US-based Walden), while UK-US-French production Atonement has been scheduled for Feb 22.

On Feb 28, CFGC will release a yet-to-confirmed Russian title. 'All three films will be released as revenue-sharing imported films,' Weng said.

In Dec 2007, Beijing cinema owners said they believed that, due to Sino-US trade tensions, the December black-out period on foreign films would be prolonged to March.

In response, Chinese film authorities denied the alleged ban and permitted the release of three foreign titles: The Pursuit of Happyness, Doraemon The Movie from Japan and Salir Pitando from Spain. The Pursuit of Happyness, which was released Jan 17, is only showing in China 's 400 digital cinemas.

So far among the six foreign films to be released before the end ofFebruary, two are from US and four from Europe and Asia.

It's been rumored that Disney's National Treasure: The Book Of Secrets and New Line's The Golden Compass may be scheduled for March but Weng declined to confirm the release of the two films.