Box-Office Blowout: Rick Santorum's Faith Movie Loses to Sophomoric Caper 'Jackass'

The Guardian calls Santorum's faith-based tale a "flop."

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Former Pennsylvania Sen. and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum during an interview at a movie theater in New York on Nov. 18, 2013.
EchoLight Studios' first film since bringing former GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum on as CEO did not perform well at the box office in its opening weekend.

If former GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum's first attempt at movie promotion is like his race against Mitt Romney, then the former senator just lost Iowa.

Santorum became the CEO of faith-based movie distributor, EchoLight Studios, in June and, earlier this month, watched his first movie "The Christmas Candle" reach theaters. Beforehand, he told Whispers that promoting movies was similar to campaigning. He blasted Hollywood's big budget ad campaigns. "That's the Romney way of running a campaign," Santorum said, while touting "the Santorum way" -- building support for a film via the grass roots.

But, according to the Guardian, the film has "attracted widespread critical scorn as well as dismal box-office results." During "The Christmas Candle's" opening weekend, the film played in five theaters and brought in $68,655, a "respectable" haul, according to the British newspaper. Once the film landed in 392 theaters, receipts were less than $1 million, lagging behind the No. 1 movie "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," along with 14 other films including "Dallas Buyers Club," "Last Vegas" and "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa."

[READ: Santorum: 'I Want to Be the Pixar of Faith']

The movie did, however, debut at No. 37 on the domestic box office list and then climb up to No. 15, which to Santorum looks like "the big mo."

"Going up against the likes of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,' we knew it was going to be a challenge, but we are seeing true momentum for 'The Christmas Candle' movie," Santorum said in a statement released on EchoLight's website. "We are calling on those who have seen 'The Christmas Candle' and were inspired by it, to tell their friends to go see this movie in their hometown."

The faith-filled film, which also marks singer Susan Boyle's acting debut, revolves around a skeptical reverend who moves to the town of Gladbury, a community that believes that every 25 years an angel blesses "The Christmas Candle" and a miracle is performed.

"There is a demand for family-based, inspirational entertainment and we see this as the kickoff of a new Christmas classic," Santorum said.

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