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Kevin Costner’s ‘Horizon 2’ August Theatrical Release Delayed (Exclusive)

Kevin Costner’s ‘Horizon 2’ August Theatrical Release Delayed (Exclusive)

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Kevin Costner’s period Western “Horizon: An American Saga — Chapter 2” will not be hitting theaters on its planned release date of August 16. This change comes on the heels of the first installment’s disappointing performance at the box office late last month.

After extensive deliberations, Costner’s Territory Pictures and distribution partner New Line Cinema decided to revise their ambitious release plan. The goal is to allow more time for audiences to discover and engage with “Horizon: An American Saga — Chapter 1,” which carries a hefty $100 million production cost.

As part of this revised strategy, “Chapter 1” will debut on Premium Video on Demand (PVOD) on July 16, although it will continue to be available in theaters.

“Territory Pictures and New Line Cinema have decided not to release ‘Horizon: Chapter 2’ on August 16 to give audiences a greater opportunity to discover the first installment of ‘Horizon’ over the coming weeks, including on PVOD and MAX. We thank our exhibition partners for their continued support as moviegoers across the US discover the film in its theatrical run,” said a New Line representative.

Territory Pictures echoed similar sentiments, adding, “The audience response to ‘Horizon,’ and enthusiasm for seeing our story continue in ‘Horizon 2,’ has been incredibly gratifying. Kevin made this film for people who love movies and who wanted to go on a journey. The support that we have received from film fans, and the theater owners, as they experience the first chapter of this saga only serves to reinforce our belief in them and the films that we have made, and we thank them for coming on board for the ride. We welcome the opportunity for that window to be expanded as we know it will only serve to enhance the experience of seeing ‘Horizon 2.’”

As of now, no debut date for Max has been announced. Warner Bros., the parent company of New Line, began notifying theater owners of this last-minute change on Wednesday morning. Many cinemas had already sold advance tickets for “Chapter 2” and will now need to issue refunds.

The “Horizon” series represents a significant risk for Costner, who invested $38 million of his own money into “Chapter 1.” The rest of the financing came from two unidentified investors and by selling off foreign rights. New Line and Warner Bros. agreed to handle distribution and marketing for the first two installments for a fee, with Costner covering the marketing expenses. Costner intends to produce four films in total.

“Horizon Chapter 1,” which has a runtime of three hours and one minute, opened to a disappointing $11 million over the June 28-30 weekend. The film’s performance has been marred by a poor B- CinemaScore and lukewarm reviews, currently holding a 43 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It saw a steep 51 percent drop in its second weekend, earning just $5.4 million domestically for a 10-day total of $22 million, and an international total of less than $3 million.

“Chapter 2” similarly has a budget of around $100 million. Costner’s team indicated last week that production on “Chapter 3” is set to resume in August.

Costner’s decision to direct the “Horizon” series marks his return to directing after decades. He had left his popular show “Yellowstone” to fully commit to “Horizon.” He hoped the film would resonate with American heartland audiences, much like “Yellowstone,” but it has so far failed to achieve the same level of fan engagement.

The marketing campaign for “Horizon” was heavily focused on Costner, involving a nationwide tour and a premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Warner Bros. also leveraged its sister companies, including TNT sporting events and TCM, to promote the film.

At this point, there is no word on when “Horizon Chapter 2” will return to the theatrical release calendar or if it will be distributed through other means. Warner Bros. and New Line have not secured distribution rights for the third and fourth movies.

More updates are expected in the near future.

Source: source names