Warner Bros' post-apocalyptic thriller I Am Legend, starring Will Smith, will be released in most Asian territories this weekend except for mainland China.

The mainland China release date of the film will likely be later than mid-February, due to the prolonged black-out period of foreign films.

'We struggled very, very hard to try to get it to work out, but there are only a certain amount of foreign films that are allowed in,' Smith told reporters in Hong Kong on Friday.

Smith said he met with Han Sanping, chairman of China Film Group Corporation (CFGC), to discuss a possible release date for I Am Legend, as well as the production of other film projects in the country

China Film Group executives taking charge of foreign film imports denied the rumor of a ban on US movies, saying the company is still reviewing Hollywood movies for release, according to an Associated Press report.

However, cinema managers in major Chinese cities confirmed last week that there would be eight-to-ten Chinese-language films released by Feb 15 and there is 'little room' for revenue-sharing foreign films.

Apart from meeting with CFGC's Han Sanping, Smith said he also met with Hong Kong director Stephen Chow to discuss future projects. It's understood that the projects include a remake of The Karate Kid, which will be about a Chinese martial arts master changing the life of a shy, introverted American boy.

Two weeks ago at a speech at Peking University, CFGC chairman Han Sanping revealed that the company planned to work with Hollywood stars such as Will Smith, Keanu Reeves and Jet Li on at least three co-production projects.

According to Chinese regulations a co-production film is treated as a local film and will not be affected by import restrictions.