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Santorum Flick Short of Opening-Weekend Goal

Last month, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, now CEO of Dallas-based EchoLight Studios, said the outfit was hoping for opening-weekend receipts of $2 million for its first national movie release, titled The Christmas Candle. Two million, Santorum said, would be like “hitting a home run.” Well, preliminary results for the film’s Nov. 22-Nov. 24 opening weekend are in, and it looks more like a two-bagger than a round-tripper for the widely panned, Christian-oriented flick.

According to estimates by a web site called Box Office Mojo, The Christmas Candle raked in $980,000 from 392 theaters over the weekend, for a total take to date of $1,060,000 (it also played on a few screens the weekend before). “That’s a fine figure for a movie targeted exclusively at Christian audiences,” the web site said, “but also suggests the movie won’t earn much more than $5 million or so in theaters.” If EchoLight’s seeking a silver lining, on the other hand, the film apparently grossed more last weekend than movies including Nebraska, Blue Is the Warmest Color and The Book Thief.