Kevin Costner’s Horizon Already Heads Home After Crushing Box Office Defeat

By Michael Heuer | Updated

Actor, director, and producer Kevin Costner arguably is the greatest current star of the western film genre, but his latest endeavor isn’t faring so well. The Academy Award-winner western star has many fine works on his resume, but Kevin Costner’s latest, Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter One, has fared poorly at the box office. It’s done so poorly that it’s already slated for a paid streaming-on-demand debut on July 16.

Box Office Returns And Streaming

Kevin Costner Horizon

The first chapter of Kevin Costner’s Horizon four-film saga runs three hours, which can challenge the patience of even Costner’s best fans and those of westerns in general. It debuted on June 28 with a third-place ranking in ticket sales, behind A Quiet Place: Day One in the top spot with $22.52 million in domestic ticket sales and Inside Out 2 in second place with a $17.09 million box office take.

The Warner Bros. Pictures-distributed Horizon debut netted $4.1 million in ticket sales for third position on June 28 and quickly dropped to the fourth spot the next day.

Horizon’s opening weekend take was $11 million, and it’s been sliding ever since.

The Horizon Rundown

kevin costner horizon

The film has a commendable cast that includes Sienna Miller, Giovanni Ribisi, Sam Worthington, Michael Rooker, Luke Wilson, and Danny Huston. It’s rated R for violence and nudity and is set in the 1860s when the Civil War is raging and dividing the nation – even in the film’s Wyoming setting. Chapter one of Kevin Costner’s Horizon tome introduces audiences to the fictional Horizon Valley located on the traditional hunting grounds of local Apache tribes.

The Civil War prevents the federal government from protecting settlers, who must fend for themselves against the warring tribes and white criminals who intend harm to all but themselves in the lawless territory.

The On-Demand Treatment

Kevin Costner Horizon

The film only grossed $555,114 in box office sales on July 8, for a running total of $23.4 million, including $776,107 in overseas ticket sales. The quick move to on-demand streaming just three weeks after its theatrical release affirms it doesn’t have staying power on the big screen despite being filmed for it. Fortunately for Kevin Costner, the Horizon saga has three more chapters ready for release, with the second chapter due in theaters on August 16.

Hoping For A Home Viewer Bump

Kevin Costner Horizon

The rapid transition to streaming could help snare at-home viewers who would be more willing to buy tickets to the subsequent chapters of the sweeping western epic. Costner is playing the long game with his Horizon film series and betting on eventual box office and on-demand streaming returns – or at least to break even.

The first chapter cost $100 million to film, and Costner put up $38 million of his own money to produce it. Fortunately, he has a net worth of about $400 million, including $100 million in real estate, according to Parade magazine.

Critic And Audience Reception

Kevin Costner Horizon

The film stands a good chance of drawing in more audiences and spreading the Chapter One financial losses across three more chapters that hopefully will do much better at the box office. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a cumulative rating of 47 percent among critics and a much more favorable 71 percent among audiences. So there’s a potential silver lining that could rescue Kevin Costner’s Horizon film series.