Kevin Costner’s ‘Horizon’ Box Office Boondoggle: ‘Yellowstone’ Fans Are (Largely) a No-Show

Despite high hopes, "Horizon" only managed to gross $11 million in its North American debut weekend. This figure was well below expectations for an event film that reportedly cost $100 million to produce. The disappointing opening placed it significantly behind other recent releases like "A Quiet Place: Day One" and "Inside Out 2", which drew 3.6 million and 5 million viewers respectively.

The contrast in box office performance with "A Quiet Place: Day One" and "Inside Out 2" highlighted the challenges faced by "Horizon". While those films capitalized on strong fan bases and effective marketing, "Horizon" struggled to attract the same level of audience despite Kevin Costner's star power and involvement.

The film skewed heavily towards older demographics, with over 60% of ticket buyers being over the age of 45. This included a substantial 47% of the audience being over 55 years old. Such demographics typically do not rush to theaters on opening weekends, posing a challenge for a big-budget film reliant on initial box office success.

While critical reviews of "Horizon" were not extensively covered in the article, the focus on its box office performance suggests a mixed reception at best. The film's inability to draw in the expected audience may have tempered initial enthusiasm among critics and audiences alike.

Despite the underwhelming debut of "Chapter One", plans for a sequel ("Chapter Two") were unaffected and set for release in August. This decision reflects a commitment to the franchise's vision and potentially a bet on the film finding its audience over time, especially through alternative distribution channels and subsequent installments.

Kevin Costner faced significant challenges in getting "Horizon" off the ground. With no major studio backing initially, he resorted to cobbling together financing through private investors, including a substantial personal investment of $38 million.

Analysts pointed out that the film's appeal among older demographics could prove beneficial in the streaming and VOD markets. Premium VOD platforms, charging around $20 per rental, were seen as potential avenues for "Horizon" to recoup its costs and potentially find a more receptive audience.

Following its premiere at Cannes Film Festival, "Horizon" faced mixed reception internationally, with initial reports from the UK indicating lukewarm interest. Westerns, traditionally a tough sell outside North America, posed additional challenges despite efforts to leverage global premieres and international distribution strategies.