Kevin Costner’s Horizon Gets Surprising VOD Release Date After Disappointing Box Office Run

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Summary

  • Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1
    moves to VOD on July 15, much sooner than expected.
  • Horizon
    had a disappointing theatrical opening, with $11 million in its first weekend and weak ticket sales.
  • VOD release may help boost ticket sales for the Kevin Costner-directed sequel and widen the film’s exposure.



After a disappointing theatrical opening, Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1 is coming to video-on-demand (VOD) much sooner than anyone expected. Directed, co-written and starring Kevin Costner, the Western drama was the first entry in an epic that tells the story of America’s Western expansion in the Civil War era, but appears ready to go to digital. According to a listing with Prime Video, Horizon (which opened in theaters on June 28) is coming to VOD on July 15, 2024, less than a month after its release.

Several hours after the release was announced, however, Prime Video updated the listing, removing the date and merely stating “Release date coming soon.” While the date appears correct, it is likely Warner Bros. did not want to discourage ticket sales with the film still in theaters, so the release date was removed. The film made just $11 million in its opening weekend and about $23 million at the box office in its first 11 days, against a reported $100 million budget for the entire production.


HORIZON-AN-AMERICAN-SAGA-1

Horizon

2/5

Horizon centers around fictional characters and takes place in pre- and post-Civil War America, and details the exploration of the American West. Depicting a twelve-year span, the movies feature an ensemble cast portraying various characters and their experiences pioneering into new territory from their homes.

Release Date
June 28, 2024

The film is Costner’s latest passion project, and his first theatrical Western in over two decades. In the meantime, he returned to the genre on television, with 2012’s Hatfields & McCoys and the Taylor Sheridan hit series Yellowstone. The Oscar winner recently left Yellowstone in the midst of its final season after scheduling conflicts and other on-set issues caused a rift.

While quick turnarounds for films from theater to VOD are becoming the norm these days, Horizon’s move to digital from the theater in less than a month is unusual and does little to shake the “box office bomb” talk that the film has received. However, the move may be advantageous in the long run, as the second chapter of the film series is releasing in August. A VOD release could widen the film’s exposure and encourage ticket sales for the sequel.



Horizon Has Received a Mixed Response From Critics

Despite receiving a rousing standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival, Horizon has received mixed reviews from critics. The film has a 48% Tomatometer score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. However, viewers have rated it at 71%, raising hopes the film will do better at home, and giving Chapter 1 a month-long head start on home video before Chapter 2 opens on August 16 could generate positive word-of-mouth.

Related

Horizon: An American Saga Would’ve Worked Better as a TV Show

Kevin Costner’s ambitious directorial project may have gotten a standing ovation at Cannes, but some still think Horizon should have been a series.


Horizon had an uphill battle to find an audience even before it opened. Westerns are not the most popular genre in theaters in recent years. The film’s three-hour runtime and multiple storylines did not win over moviegoers. The response to the film led star Michael Rooker to tell younger audiences to “watch real cinema” over the short videos that dominate social media. With a reported $100 million budget, and poor ticket sales overseas, Horizon will need a cinematic miracle to make a profit.

In addition to Costner and Rooker, Horizon stars Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington, Jena Malone, Owen Crow Shoe, Tatanka Means, Danny Huston, Tom Payne, Will Patton, and Giovanni Ribisi.

Horizon Chapter 1
is currently in theaters.
Chapter 2
opens in theaters on August 16.


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