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posted on 10.21.09

Early rumours had me worried that "Agora" would be Spain's "Waterworld," a particularly sour comparison given the present taste for economy: a more than $70 million dollar production with no U.S. distribution, 141 minutes long, a 4th century epic spectacle... but... and there's a big BUT here... I would've been eating my hat right now had I not had faith in director Alejandro Amenabar.

Amenabar is a popular director in Spain, where "Agora" opened earning $17 million at the box office since it's release on October 9th. The film stars Rachel Weisz and tells the story of legendary mathmetician and astronomer Hypatia. Since its premiere at Cannes, it's been trimmed down to 2 hours, and is opening in France, Germany, Greece, Scandinavia, Thailand and Taiwan.

Every once in a while business can be interesting when we talk about movies and who's innovating, how and why. It's worth noting that this ancient period piece marks a possible change in trends when it comes to what will be available for us to see in theatres here in the US. Typically, films without US buyers tend to struggle and, while we can't make plans to see "Agora" here just yet, it's relative success shows that popularity overseas can inspire American distributors to give a film a second look. Anyone other examples you can think of? (Not counting American remakes!)

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Rachel Weisz
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