Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken" has opened more than a year after the rest of the world in Japan, the country where the main character endures as a prisoner of war and where some have called for a boycott of the movie.
There were concerns right-wing extremists may try to disrupt the opening on Saturday.
The crowd at Theatre Image Forum in Tokyo appeared engrossed in the film, flinching at the torture scenes and sympathizing with the hero, Louis Zamperini.
The distributor said in a statement it decided to go ahead as various views on war should be expressed.
"Unbroken" is based on the true story of Zamperini, an Olympic athlete who was abused in World War II camps until Japan's defeat in 1945.