Rick Santorum, a former U.S. senator turned movie executive, tells Newsmax he's pleased with how his first offering – "The Christmas Candle" – is performing at the box office, especially considering it's competing with blockbusters such as "The Hunger Games" and "Frozen."
Earlier this year, Santorum, a Pennsylvania Republican, took the helm at EchoLight Studios with the intention of making family-friendly movies.
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"The Christmas Candle" opened to less-than-rave reviews, something Santorum attributes to "hardened secular reviewers" not having a taste or tolerance for a faith-based film. His target audience has praised the film.
He says people who "understand faith" and the film's nuances have had positive things to say about the movie, which he describes as an uplifting, "sweet film about folks struggling with their faith at Christmas time."
Santorum, who has never diverged from his deep religious convictions, thinks his reputation as a man of faith likely influenced critics' opinions.
"There may be some element of shoot-the-messenger instead of the message and we've seen a few reviews that have made it a point to mention that I'm the distributor of the film," he explained.
Santorum said there's a market demand for more wholesome, family-friendly movies.
"Our goal is to release quality entertainment with positive, uplifting messages of hope. That's what people across America and the world are looking for, including my own family. We're always searching for movies we can take the whole family to, and we think there are millions of others who share that desire."
Santorum is a married father of seven who ran for president in 2012, losing the Republican nomination to Mitt Romney.
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