The Delay of Kevin Costner’s Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 2

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The recent announcement that Chapter 2 of Kevin Costner’s Horizon: An American Saga will no longer be coming out on Aug. 16 has left many fans and industry insiders wondering about the reasoning behind this decision. This news comes in the wake of the disappointing performance of Chapter 1 at the box office over the July 4th weekend. With the film’s target audience skewing towards the 50+ demographic, who have been slow to return to cinemas, the filmmakers have opted to give them more time to discover the first movie.

Chapter 1 of Horizon will be made available digitally on July 16, while it will continue to run in theaters. There are currently no plans to release the sequel directly on a streaming platform like Max. However, there is a possibility of a day-and-date theatrical release for Chapter 2, though this is still being considered. Reports of the movie being “pulled” from its release date may be premature, as no final decisions have been made regarding its theatrical prospects.

The Horizon franchise, which reportedly includes a Chapter 3, is expected to have a hefty budget of over $100 million. The first installment opened to $11 million and has garnered a domestic total of $23.4 million so far. While these numbers are in line with typical western films at the box office, the high production cost and mixed critical reception paint a challenging picture for the franchise’s future. With a 48% Rotten Tomatoes score and a B- CinemaScore, Chapter 1 has not been a resounding success with audiences or critics.

Kevin Costner, a multi-Oscar winner, has tackled the western genre before with his 2003 film Open Range. That film opened to $14 million and ended with a domestic total of $58.3 million. Costner reportedly financed a significant portion of Horizon himself and is responsible for the film’s marketing and distribution costs. The decision to delay Chapter 2 may be aimed at allowing his core fan base, particularly those who follow him on his hit TV series Yellowstone, more time to discover the first installment and generate interest in the sequel.

In a statement released by New Line Cinema, it was clarified that the decision to delay Chapter 2 was made in order to give audiences a better chance to engage with the first film through various platforms, including PVOD and MAX. Territory Pictures echoed this sentiment, expressing gratitude for the audience’s response to Horizon and their anticipation for Chapter 2. The studio emphasized their belief in the films they have made and the support they have received from both fans and theater owners.

The delay of Kevin Costner’s Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 2 raises questions about the future of the franchise and the challenges of releasing a high-budget film in the current box office landscape. With a focus on engaging the core audience and building anticipation for the sequel, the filmmakers and studio executives are navigating a complex set of factors that will ultimately determine the success of the Horizon series in the long run.

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