The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor has been cleared for release by Chinese film censors and will be released in mainland China after the Beijing Olympics, according to local distributor Edko Films.

Edko Films' chief Bill Kong, who helped to set the film up as a full US-China co-production, said that the film has been approved and that 'we are assessing the best time to release it'.

He added that this would probably be after the Olympics which take place August 8-24. 'We don't want to release it during the Olympics because the whole country will be focused on the games,' said Kong.

The film's director Rob Cohen confirmed at a press conference in Los Angeles that it wouldn't open in China until after the Olympics.

Initially, it was expected that The Mummy 3 would be released day-and-date with the US where it opens on August 1. It will open in other Asian markets including Hong Kong, Singapore and Korea on the same weekend. However, at the end of last weekthe filmstill hadn't beencompletely cleared for Chinese release.

It will face some competitionin China in August as both Speed Racer and The Incredible Hulk have been cleared for release that month. However, it's expected to do well due to the Chinese content and the appearance of Chinese stars Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh.

The Mummy 3 was filmed in China and set up as a full co-production between Universal Pictures and Shanghai Film Group. This means it can bypass the annual quota of 20 revenue-sharing films and the foreign partners can enjoy a greater share of the box office. However, it also means that the script is subject to closer scrutiny.