After smashing box office records around the world, The Dark Knight will not be released in China, Warner Bros have confirmed.

The Batman Begins sequel is one of the most successful films ever made and has earned more than $994 million (£676,360,720) worldwide.

But while black market DVDs of Christopher Nolan's movie have long been available in China, the comic book adaptation will not be seen on Chinese cinema screens.

"Based on a number of pre-release conditions that are being attached to The Dark Knight as well as cultural sensitivities to some elements of the film, we have opted to forego a theatrical release of the film in China," Warner Bros said in a statement.

The studio declined to elaborate though it is believed the plot strand which sees Batman venturing to Hong Kong to capture a Chinese criminal could have potentially caused offence.

The International Herald Tribune also reports the film may have been kept from Chinese cinemagoers due to the brief appearance by Hong Jong actor-singer Edison Chen, whose public image was tarnished this year after a leak of compromising photographs.

The Dark Knight will be re-released in the US on January 23rd as it bids to join the exclusive club of films to have earned over $1 billion (£680,06,310) worldwide.

Only Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, The Lord Of The Rings: The Return of the King and Titanic have surpassed that milestone.

24/12/2008 10:48:38