Kevin Costner’s ‘Horizon 2’ Pulled From August Theatrical Release

Kevin Costner’s Period Western Horizon: An American Saga — Chapter 2 will not be in theaters on August 16 after all.

The film is removed from the release calendar after Horizon: An American Saga — Chapter 1 succumbed to its theatrical debut late last month.

After much discussion, Costner’s Territory Pictures and distribution partner New Line Cinema decided to adjust their ambitious release schedule in hopes of having more time to grow the audience for the first film. The first Horizon has a price tag of $100 million.

As part of that effort, Chapter 1 will premiere on Premium VOD on July 16 and will also be in theaters.

“Territory Pictures and New Line Cinema have decided not to release the film Horizon: Chapter 2 on August 16 to give the public a greater chance to see the first part of Horizon in the coming weeks, including on PVOD and MAX. We thank our exhibition partners for their continued support as U.S. moviegoers discover the film in theaters,” said a New Line spokesperson.

Territory Pictures added in a separate statement, “The public’s response to Horizonand excitement to see our story continue in Horizon2has been incredibly rewarding. Kevin made this film for people who love movies and want to go on a journey. The support we’ve received from movie fans and theater owners as they experience the first chapter of this saga only strengthens our belief in them and the films we’ve made, and we thank them for coming on board for the ride. We welcome the opportunity to expand that window, because we know it will only serve to enhance the experience of seeing Horizon2.”

No debut date for Max has been announced yet.

Warner Bros., the parent company of New Line, began notifying theater owners of the dramatic last-minute change Wednesday morning. Many theaters had offered consumers the chance to purchase tickets in advance for Chapter 2; these must now be repaid.

The Horizon series is a big gamble for Costner, who has put $38 million of his own money into the series. Chapter 1 and financed the rest with the help of two mysterious investors and by selling foreign rights. New Line and Warner Bros. agreed to distribute and market the first two films for a fee, with Costner covering the marketing costs. Costner plans to make four films.

Horizon Chapter 1With a running time of three hours and one minute, it opened to just $11 million over the weekend of June 28-30. It was an alarming debut for the $100 million film, which was hampered by a poor B CinemaScore and lukewarm reviews (it holds a 43 percent critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes). It plummeted 51 percent in its second weekend to $5.4 million for a 10-day domestic total of $22 million. Worse, it has made less than $3 million overseas.

Chapter 2 also cost about $100 million to make. Costner’s team said last week that he plans to resume filming Chapter 3 in August.

Costner is known for his confidence, but even he shocked Hollywood when he announced he would return to directing for the first time in decades, making four films. Horizon films chronicling the Great Migration to the West during the Civil War. In April, Warner Bros. signed on as distributor and announced the unprecedented plan to release the first two films less than two months apart. Costner was so involved that he left his hit series Yellowstone in the midst of his Horizon obligations.

Costner believed his film would strike a chord in America’s heart, just as Yellowstone has — and while it has indeed played best in the mountain regions, the Midwest, the Southern and South Central states, it has so far failed to mobilize its fans or Yellowstone viewers to the desired extent.

Warner Bros.’ marketing campaign focused heavily on Costner, who toured the film nationwide and premiered it at the Cannes Film Festival. The studio also tapped into sister properties that are part of Warner Bros. Discovery, including TNT Sporting Events and TCM.

So far there is no word on when Horizon Chapter 2 will return to the cinema calendar. Warner Bros. and New Line have not acquired distribution rights for the third and fourth films.

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