Tom Cruise Sails Into Beijing for 'Oblivion' Blitz
HONG KONG – In what was just the latest whirlwind visit from a Hollywood A-lister, Tom Cruise flew into Beijing on Thursday to promote the Chinese release of his latest film, Oblivion.
Attending a premiere in the Chinese capital, Cruise spent half an hour signing autographs as he walked the red carpet, reports the Chinese-language website CRI Online. The site quotes fans praising the actor as “very easy going."
The Chinese media embraced Cruise's reputation in the country for being easy going. As journalists followed the actor on his visit to the Great Wall earlier in the day, Cruise's entourage allowed tourists to approach and take photographs with the actor.
Cruise dazzled the press when he jokingly raced photographers along the wall, and was quoted as saying “I Love Beijing” in Mandarin. He also told the press that he would soon begin work on a fifth installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise, a project confirmed by Paramount and Skydance earlier this week.
Unlike Robert Downey Jr.’s Chinese visit last month to plug Iron Man 3 – a well-rehearsed trip planned months in advance – Cruise’s trip was announced on very short notice. The film’s distributor, Universal Pictures, only released the news of Cruise's arrival earlier this week.
But Cruise’s presence may be crucial to the film's performance, as Oblivion bows in China in the looming shadow of the runaway hit Iron Man 3 – which is still going strong more than a week after opening in the country. It's release also comes just two days before the second release of Django Unchained, which will finally be unleashed in Chinese theaters Sunday after abruptly being yanked from screens on its opening day April 10.
Cruise remains one of the most well-known stars in China. He’s called “Brother Tom” in the Chinese media, and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol was the second highest-grossing import film in the country in 2012, with earnings of $104.9 million (646.33 million yuan). But his last release in China, Jack Reacher, barely crossed the important $16.3 million (100-million-yuan) threshold when it opened here in February.
Oblivion opens in China May 10.