Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Kevin Costner’s Horizon sequel pulled from cinemas after first movie bombs

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Part two of Kevin Costner’s ambitious Western epic Horizon: An American Saga will no longer be released in theaters next month.

The news was announced Wednesday (July 10) by a New Line Cinema spokesperson, who said in a statement: “Territory Pictures and New Line Cinema have decided not to release Horizon: Chapter 2 on August 16 in order to give audiences a greater opportunity to discover the first installment of Horizon over the coming weeks.”

The studio had planned an unusually fast back-to-back release for the two Horizon films. But after the first chapter had a sluggish start, earning $11m during the first week against its $100m budget, the distributor pivoted.

For now, the release of Chapter 2 will be marked TBD on the theatrical calendar. The first Horizon, which opened in theaters on June 28, will land on premium on-demand July 16. No streaming date on Max has been announced.

The move is a humbling acknowledgment that Costner’s big theatrical gamble for his decades-long passion project has failed to catch on with audiences.

The first chapter of Horizon, which debuted in May at the Cannes Film Festival, cost some $100m to make, making its path to profitability extremely challenging if not impossible. Costner put tens of millions of his own dollars into it, and has already begun shooting a third installment of what he envisions will ultimately be four movies.

‘Horizon: Chapter 2’ will no longer release on August 16 to give audiences ‘a greater opportunity’ to discover the first installment of ‘Horizon’
‘Horizon: Chapter 2’ will no longer release on August 16 to give audiences ‘a greater opportunity’ to discover the first installment of ‘Horizon’ (© 2022 Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

When asked in May about the movies hitting theaters in quick succession, Costner said: “The studio wanted to try that. I knew this was going to come out fairly quickly, like every four or five months. That may have been easier. But this is something they feel like people can remember the first one and it can tie into the second one.”

Costner, who directed, co-wrote and stars in the films, had been trying to make Horizon for more than 30 years. While releasing the film, Costner confirmed his exit from Paramount’s hit drama series Yellowstone. The ultimate destination of Horizon, he acknowledged, was always going to be on TV.

“They’re going to break this up into a hundred pieces, you know what I mean?” said Costner. “After four of these, they’re going to have 13, 14 hours of film and they’re going to turn into 25 hours of TV, and they’re going to do whatever they’re going to do. That’s just the way we live in our life but they’ll also exist in this form. And that was important for me, to make sure that happened. And I was the one who paid for it.”

Additional reporting by The Associated Press

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