'Compass' finds way to China, Japan


BEIJING – Fantasy epic "The Golden Compass" has navigated its way to March cinematic releases in China and Japan, New Line Cinema said Wednesday.

"Compass" will open in Japan March 1, following in China March 28. The film passed censorship in China and is the same film seen by U.S. audiences, with no cuts, a New Line spokesperson said by email.

The two markets could help the Nicole Kidman starrer continue its overseas roll, having done about four times more box office overseas than in the U.S.

The film's release comes on the heels of new regulations banning horror themes in film and home video releases, especially those aimed at children. Fantasy films are often stopped by their use of magic, which conflict with broad-based prohibitions against superstition. However, the General Administration of Press and Publications Wednesday said that "Harry Potter," "Shrek," and "E.T." would be excepted from the new horror regs.