©2010 SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO Production Committee
On December 1st, SMAP’s Takuya Kimura appeared on stage for the sold-out opening screening of Takashi Yamazaki’s highly anticipated movie, SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO, at Toho Cinemas Nichigeki 1, in Tokyo’s Yurakucho neighborhood (Chiyoda Ward). Record ticket sales pushed the film into the #1 position at the Japanese box office on its first day of release — sending YAMATO right into orbit.
The opening date of the film alone is already something special, because in new movies in Japan usually open on Saturdays. However, December 1st is considered “Movie Day” (Eiga-no Hi), and so the producers were able to make this release special occasion and release it before the weekend. Kimura was in very high spirits at the opening ceremony today, as he said, “I hope that everyone will board the Yamato!”
During the on-stage opening ceremony, Toho Company, the film’s domestic distributor, announced that six countries have already secured the rights to YAMATO. France, Germany, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, and Hong Kong will soon be prepping SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO to bow in their own territories. In addition, Toho revealed that they have already received several offers from American distributors as well — it seems that Yamato is about to boldly go around the world.
Kimura then appealed to future international moviegoers with these words, “I want to say to them, ‘Please enjoy this SF movie made in Japan,’ and show them that the Yamato is a big enough ship for everyone!”
At the end of the opening ceremony, Toho also openly challenged the current #1 film at the Japanese box office, HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART I, declaring, “We’re aiming to break the 8 Billion Yen ($95 Million USD) mark, and surpass HARRY POTTER by the end of the year.”
To date, Kimura’s greatest box office success was Masayuki Suzuki's HERO (2007), which raked in a total of approximately 8.6 billion Yen ($102 Million USD). Can the Yamato step up to this challenge?