Imports battle at China box office

Films set for release include 'Flyboys,' 'Prada'

China’s biggest B.O. season, the Spring Festival, will set the scene for a battle royale among foreign film fare.

Starting on Feb. 18 and lasting for roughly two weeks, the festival also known as Chinese New Year will feature at least five foreign films (part of the annual quota of 20).

“Casino Royale” was released at the end of January by China Film Group and Huaxia Distribution, the two distribution companies authorized to handle imported films, and should play until late February.

Other imported pics set for release during the period include WWI fighter pilot drama “Flyboys” (China Film and Huaxia, opening Friday), Ben Stiller starrer “Night at the Museum” (China Film and Huaxia, Feb. 14), fashionista comedy “The Devil Wears Prada” (Huaxia, Feb. 27) and Adam Sandler starrer “Click” (China Film, Feb. 28).

China’s film authorities sometimes impose bans on foreign movie releases during critical holiday seasons in order to protect domestic releases, though the Chinese New Year has been open season for imported pics for several years.

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