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Kevin Costner’s ‘Horizon II’ Removed from Theatrical Release

Horizon: An American Saga movie premiere
Kevin Costner, the director, co-writer, and star of “Horizon: An American Saga,” at the film’s premiere in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

The planned August theatrical release of Kevin Costner’s Western epic “Horizon: An American Saga” part two has been scrapped. This decision comes after the first installment had a lackluster performance at the box office.

New Line Cinema announced that “Horizon: Chapter 2” will no longer premiere in theaters on August 16 as initially scheduled. The company originally intended for a rapid back-to-back release of the two films. However, the modest $23 million earned by the first chapter in its first two weeks led to a reevaluation of this strategy.

“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,” a spokesperson for New Line said in a statement.

Currently, the release date for “Chapter 2” is listed as TBD on the theatrical calendar. The first chapter, released in theaters on June 28, will become available on premium on-demand platforms starting July 16. There has not yet been any announcement regarding its streaming date on Max. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to reveal these changes in plans.

This move appears to acknowledge that Costner’s gamble with a theatrical release for his long-cherished project has not resonated with audiences as hoped. The first “Horizon” was introduced to the public in May at the Cannes Film Festival. With a production cost of around $100 million, the film’s journey to turning a profit seems increasingly difficult. Costner, who invested his own money in the project, has already begun working on a third installment of what he envisions as a four-part series.

In May, Costner spoke about the studio’s willingness to release the movies in quick succession. “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,” he said.

Costner, who directed, co-wrote, and stars in the films, has been striving to make “Horizon” for over 30 years. Around the time of the film’s release, he confirmed his departure from the hit series “Yellowstone.” He always envisioned “Horizon” eventually finding a home on television.

“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 that 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.”

Source: AP News, The Hollywood Reporter