Sato's 'Yamato' reaches milestone

“Yamato: The Last Battle,” Junya Sato’s epic about a doomed Japanese battleship in the closing days of WWII, recorded its 1 millionth admission on its 12th day of release — the quickest any film released by Toei has reached that milestone in the studio’s 58-year history.

The two previous record holders were 1999 drama “Railroad Man” and 2005 period drama “Year One in the North,” both of which hit the 1 million mark on their 14th day of release.

“Yamato” producer Haruki Kadokawa has negotiated with Toho and Shochiku to expand the number of screens playing the film. Released Dec. 17 on 324, “Yamato” will widen to 347 on Sunday.

Fulfilling a vow he made in an opening-day appearance, Kadokawa wangled a Dec. 20 meeting with Toho chairman Isao Matsuoka, who promised to switch screens from the underperforming “King Kong” to “Yamato.”

The producer also has persuaded Shochiku to play “Yamato” together with the quickly fading “Zathura” at several theaters.

Kadokawa’s ultimate goal — to pass the 10 million admission mark and win the year’s domestic B.O. title — is now within reach, if not yet a done deal.

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