Santorum’s First Movie a Flop


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.

Comments

  1. says

    Santorum, crappy movie, beat by catching fire…… there’s a joke in there somewhere.

    Any wagers on when EchoLight. will scrap their current business model and start making good-ole profitable porn?

  2. says

    Santorum, crappy movie, beat by catching fire…

    Maybe not a joke, but that phrase fits the metre of a certain overplayed pop song about counting stars. Just sayin’…

  3. voidhawk says

    There’s the germ of a good story in the setting of an isolated rural village being bestowed a candle which gives a single wish and everybody in town knowing about it. Who gets to control that power? Is it the same person or people every timeleading to a sense of injustice and inequality in the town. Maybe the gift bestowed is voted for in a tn meeting but there are parties who want to take the candle and grant their own wish.

    I imagine a comically dark film about the paranoia and mistrust that the promise of power brings. The Prisoners’ Dilemma writ over the population of an entire village.

  4. says

    voidhawk, no. People have candles, but an angel only blesses one of them, and the person that makes a wish on that one gets his wish, but nobody else and also you need a candle, and just that one candle and no other candles. Because God hasn’t got the time or energy to help everyone, and He needs to make it needlessly complicated when He does help someone.

  5. dingojack says

    Ooohhh can I have a go at a review?*

    The Christmas Candle is a frothy, fetid, mixture of lube, semen and shit (mostly the lattermost).”

    :) Dingo
    ———-
    * In the interest of full disclosure, I haven’t, of course, seen it. But when has not being at all familiar with the material to be panned ever stopped the right?

  6. abb3w says

    How does its performance compare to other movies in the Christian schlock genre? It’s kind of tricky, since I think the bulk of those tend to be direct-to-home-video releases rather than theatrical. There seems to be some data here, but that includes some really tiny releases.

  7. says

    I haven’t seen the movie, but I kinda think Santorum’s biggest mistake was setting, and showing, it in England. They have their own brand of small-town-homey moralistic schlock, they do it better than we do, and they have no reason to buy any inferior imports from America. What the hell was Santorum thinking? Why couldn’t he have at least stuck to the audience he knew?

  8. raven says

    What the hell was Santorum thinking?

    You assume that Satanorum actually thinks?

    Why couldn’t he have at least stuck to the audience he knew?

    Who knows? I doubt that a bunch of angry old white men waving guns around fit into a Xmas movie very well.

  9. jonathangray says

    dingojack:

    a frothy, fetid, mixture of lube, semen and shit

    You forgot “… that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex”. : )

    How does its performance compare to other movies in the Christian schlock genre? It’s kind of tricky, since I think the bulk of those tend to be direct-to-home-video releases rather than theatrical.

    Hey, how’s the Golden Compass franchise doing compared to Narnia or Lord of the Rings?

  10. jonathangray says

    [2nd quote above = abb3w, not DJ]

    . . .

    raven:

    old white men

    Racist, sexist and ageist. Nice.

  11. Matt G says

    Over at Rotten Tomatoes, where the film gets a 19% favorable rating, the “movie info” section reads just like a press release. It is described as a “timeless holiday film for the entire family”. I think this falls into the “coming soon to a church basement near you” category.

  12. Jordan Genso says

    Hey, how’s the Golden Compass franchise doing compared to Narnia or Lord of the Rings?

    Are you saying that The Golden Compass (and the whole His Dark Materials trilogy) belongs in the Christian genre? Having listened to the trilogy on tape, I would find that to be a strange placement. Sure, it deals with the Church, and it includes the supernatural (and even God, or The Authority), but it doesn’t paint Christianity in a positive light.

  13. Akira MacKenzie says

    Jordan Genso @ 16:

    No, I’m sure jonathangray is implying that the box office success of movies based on the literary works of overly Christain authors over that of a movie based on the work vertly atheist author is somehow significant to the debate of wether or not a deity exists.

  14. dingojack says

    jonathangray (#13) ammended “… that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex””.

    Only sometimes? Remind me never to borrow your blender. Ewww.

    : D Dingo

  15. Nick Gotts says

    I kinda think Santorum’s biggest mistake was setting, and showing, it in England. – Raging Bee@11

    No, it opened in the USA. It’s opening in the UK on 13 December, where the makers are probably counting on the inclusion of Susan Boyle ( who? I hear you ask) in a small part to lure the punters. It won’t – she was last year’s minor celebrity, or maybe the year before, I don’t recall.

  16. Jordan Genso says

    @18 Akira
    Thanks, I didn’t realize it was Narnia and LoTR that he was placing on the “Christian genre” side.

  17. jonathangray says

    AkMacK:

    No, I’m sure jonathangray is implying that the box office success of movies based on the literary works of overly Christain authors over that of a movie based on the work vertly atheist author is somehow significant to the debate of wether or not a deity exists.

    No, just appropriate for a thread gloating at a Christian-themed movie’s ostensible critical and commercial failure and implying said failure is only to be expected given said movie’s Christian themes …

  18. dingojack says

    You are aware that both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein were very devout christians, right? *
    Dingo
    ——-
    * And that both steeped their works with christian symbolism?

  19. birgerjohansson says

    The candle only works if you sacrifice children. Now watch the movie turn into a horror story as the mightiest people in town fight over which one gets the one wish, while “harvesting” children for the sacrifice.

  20. dingojack says

    Jonathangray (#26) – Sorry, I must have missed Toothless Jones and the Temple of Viagra, perhaps it was a straight-to-DVD-in-the-local-Thrift-Shop-bargain-bin release.
    ;) Dingo

  21. colnago80 says

    Re MattG @ #15

    It got a 3.6 over at IMDB. Anything less then a 5 over there is a real stinker. However, most of the written reviews were quite favorable, probably written by fascist rat fuckers like Gray. I suspect that most of the folks who thought the movie stunk didn’t want to waste their time writing a review. Here’s one of the negative reviews. Especially like the quote from Napoleon, who anticipates Karl Marx.

    “Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” – Napoleon

    “The Christmas Candle” is a ridiculous film produced by the equally ridiculous Rick Santorum. A Republican politician, ultra right-wing Christian and unashamed free-market fundamentalist, Santorum’s the kind of guy who, a couple hundred years ago, would have been busy at work killing humanity’s greatest minds, all in the name of Yaweh.

    Designed for middle class Christians who think Jesus’ mother was Ayn Rand, “The Christmas Candle” stars Hans Matheson as a preacher who’s undergoing a severe religious crisis. With his wife dead, Matheson finds his faith wavering. Worse still, he finds himself sceptical of miracles, especially those involving candles and angels. The film climaxes with Matheson’s belief in Christ restored, an angelic candle re-igniting his faith. This message, of course, goes against most Christian sects, which explicitly state that salvation requires only faith in God, not works, actions or the witnessing of miracles. The modern concept of Christian faith itself evolved precisely because of Nature’s utter indifference. This indifference is the unacknowledged bedrock of Christian faith; resorting to miraculous proof negates the need for such faith entirely.

    Candle” contains an odd subplot about electricity. Here our hero, a man of science, electric bulbs and copper wire, learns to appreciate the holy flicker of the lowly candle. Some have read this as a jab at science and technology, but such a reading doesn’t seem intended, despite religion’s notorious hatred of all things science. Indeed, religions persecuted many of the scientists responsible for breakthroughs in the study of electricity. As late as the 1950s, scientists were being persecuted and even chemically castrated (Alan Turing). To the chagrin of the world’s Santorums, even folk like Thomas Edison, a light bulb pioneer who declared “all religion” to be “thoroughly bunk”, was an anti-capitalist who wrote that “all interest” is akin to an “invention of Satan”.

    Whilst promoting “Candle”, Santorum – a warmonger who believes that “America has no classes” and that “class rhetoric is a Marxist conspiracy” – ranted about Hollywood being a “devil’s playground”. He then condemned Hollywood for being “infected by liberals” who want to “corrupt our families and children”. Ironically, most major film studios have ties with or are subsidiaries of major weapons and arms manufacturers. Indeed, even the Church of England has millions invested in weapons manufacturers (General Atomics, BAE, Ainetiq, GE etc), some of which are currently responsible for Predator and Reaper drones. The kind of nonsensical “conspiracy” that Santorum believes in stretches all the way back to 1932, when Pope Pius XI advised Europe and the West to work with Hitler and Mussolini in a coalition to stop “cultural Marxism” (“Kulturbolschewismus”) because “liberals” and “communist Jews” were challenging the monarchs. Christian values – beautiful and even vital – have never been with the world’s Popes or Santorums. Historically, they tend to be with those squashed under their boots.

    1/10 – Worth no viewing.

  22. jonathangray says

    Then there’s Mimic, and Braveheart — both definitely beadsqueezer propaganda. And how could we forget the (1970s) Poseidon Adventure or Romeo + Juliet by great Catholic double act Baz & Bill? On a higher level there’s Vertigo.

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