There's nothing better than the times when you get to blog about good news, and I hope this is just another spoke in a continual cycle: Variety reports that Newmarket Films -- the peeps who handled The Passion of the Christ -- has scored the U.S. rights to Alejandro Amenabar's Agora, and plan to release the film during the first half of next year. This is the second '09 TIFF film they've nabbed, the first being Creation, although I have no idea what would lead them to the much chastised Darwin pick before Rachel Weisz and Hypatia.

As I mentioned in October, the film was a big, expensive risk, but seemed to be paying off. In four days, it earned the best opening weekend for 2009, over $10 million, and the second best opening in Spain ever. Now, it still holds onto the number one spot, and according to Box Office Mojo, has earned a healthy $16,698,345.

But it cost roughly $73 million, so there's still work to be done, which shouldn't be very hard for the U.S. market. $55 mil? We can do that! Really. Start planning now. It's well worth your time, whether you love historical epics, truly gorgeous filmmaking, cerebral cinema, or smart girls on the big screen. Go see it! Pretty please?