After his failed presidential campaign, Rick Santorum needed a job and took one as the head of a Christian movie company, which has caused all kinds of problems in that company’s management. It doesn’t look like they’re getting much for their money as the first movie released under his leadership is a huge flop.
The Christmas Candle, set in the fictional English village of Gladbury and billed as “a timeless holiday film for the entire family”, attracted widespread critical scorn as well as dismal box-office results, having grossed just over $1.6m (£988,000) after two weeks on release.
The bad reviews were perhaps predictable, with the New York Daily News saying: “This odd Dickens-meets-Sunday-school movie is as artless as the setup is muddled”, while the New York Post judged: “This throwback, made-for-TV-style film takes the easy way out in a cheesy climax, but its resolute quaintness may appeal to the kind of viewers who regard electricity as disturbingly newfangled.” The Arizona Republic called it “resolutely stiff and hollow”…
Its opening weekend, on a small “platform” release on just 5 screens, took a respectable $68,000; but in its second week, when it expanded to over 390, it took less than $1m. The crucial screen average was an extremely moderate $2,500, putting it below the likes of The Best Man Holiday, Narco Cultura, and bodybuilding doco Generation Iron – and far beneath Catching Fire and Philomena.
I’m sure it’s all the devil’s fault. Or the liberal media. Or Obama and George Soros. Or maybe it’s just a crappy movie.
Like Dispatches on Facebook: