Earlier this month, China imposed a three-month ban on American films. It was said that this decision was influenced by "disagreements with U.S. trade policy and the recent success of American pics at the expense of local films." Foreign influence has been a foremost concern for the country's film industry, and previously, foreign fare had to slip into one of the country's 20-film limit for revenue-sharing. Another 20 could break in at a flat fee, but that's it. With this new ban, foreign fare has been completely blocked -- for the next few months -- which for the most part, means Hollywood fare like the recent Bee Movie and Beowulf. The decision had also blocked The Pursuit of Happyness, which had already cleared Chinese censors and was set for a December release. But now, just a few weeks later, the blackout is being broken.

The Hollywood Reporter has posted that Happyness will get its shot with a January release. Titled "Happiness Knocks at the Door" there, since that "y" spelling doesn't really translate internationally, the film will hit 350-380 Chinese screens on January 17, 2008. There was no further comment on why this film got an exception, but maybe it was due to the fact that it had already gone through the censor process. Now the Chinese theater owners are anxious to see the blackout broken again, and hope that other imports will soon become allowed. Whether more films will follow remains to be seen. But Merry Christmas Will Smith, your Legend can continue into China with a little Happyness!