Kevin Costner’s New Western Struggle Makes His Yellowstone Exit Look Even Worse

Kevin Costner’s highly-publicized exit from the massively popular Western drama Yellowstone for his passion project Horizon: An American Saga is beginning to look like a poor decision, thanks to a mounting pile of problems for the upcoming movie. Horizon: An American Saga is planned to be a four-part epic, with Parts 1 and 2 releasing just six weeks apart in the summer of 2024, and filming for Part 3 already underway. However, the future of the entire saga may be in jeopardy before the first movie even hits theaters.

Thanks in part to a litany of bad reviews for Horizon: An American Saga – Part 1, the movie is poised to be a massive failure at the box office. Horizon‘s budget has reportedly swollen to $100 million for just the first two parts, with Costner pitching in a massive amount of his own money to make the project a reality. Unfortunately, the first in his planned series of four movies is projected to make back only a fraction of the overall budget, and could prove that it was a massive mistake for Costner to leave his hit Taylor Sheridan show.

 

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Horizon An American Saga Official Trailer #2

Horizon’s Projected Box Office Struggles Explained

The film is projected to make a shockingly low amount

Early box office projections for Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1 have dropped precipitously over time, with the latest projections indicating that the film will only pull in $12 million on its opening weekend. That would be a disastrous opening for the sprawling Western epic saga, as the project would be on pace to potentially lose money from the jump. Althought filming is already underway for the third part, the series would stand a chance of never being completed if the box office projections hold true.

The movie’s setup as a traditional Western simply may not have the public interest to be a box office success in 2024.

Awful early reviews are only part of the equation for Horizon‘s looming disappointment. The American box office has been particularly soft in 2024, with many blockbusters falling short of initial projections, including Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, The Fall Guy, and The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. Those three movies are highly relevant to Horizon, as they likely share a large chunk of its target audience.

 

 

That’s not the only way that Horizon is struggling, either. The movie’s setup as a traditional Western simply may not have the public interest to be a box office success in 2024, even with the 35+ demographic. As the saga is not an adaptation or based on any existing franchise or IP, awareness of the first movie is tracking poorly, and with a limited marketing budget that doesn’t figure to turn around in the final days leading up to the film’s release.

Horizon’s Box Office Projections Make Kevin Costner’s Decision To Leave Yellowstone Look Worse

His abrupt departure was highly criticized

Kevin Costner as John Dutton looking weary in Yellowstone Season 5.

Rumors of behind-the-scenes issues at Yellowstone ranged from outrageous schedule and salary demands on the part of Costner to bitter disagreements between Costner and the show’s creator, Taylor Sheridan. While some of those elements may have played a role, Costner’s given reason for his exit was his desire to pursue Horizon: An American SagaHis mid-season departure from the show was criticized by many who felt that it was a poor decision to leave a highly successful prestige drama to pursue what many saw as a risky vanity project.

 

Kevin Costner’s Highest-Grossing Movies
Movie Release Date Adjusted Box Office Total
Dances with Wolves 1990 $366.6 million
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves 1991 $329.8 million
The Bodyguard 1992 $246.8 million
Waterworld 1995 $170.2 million
The Untouchables 1987 $163.6 million

The decision to leave Yellowstone for Horizon always held the potential to be personally disastrous for Costner. Now, with box office projections and critical reception looking dismal, his decision seems even more foolishYellowstone is poised to end after the final half-season airs in late 2024, meaning it will end prematurely based on the show’s original 7-season plan. Although Costner has since revealed he’s open to returning to the show, his role in the final season remains uncertain, and seems as though it will be minimal, if it exists at all.

Is There Still Hope For Kevin Costner’s Horizon Movies?

The saga will need to turn around quickly

Kevin Costner Wearing a Cowboy Hat and a Kerchief in Horizon: An American Saga

Lack of awareness, terrible reviews, and poor box office projections for the first two parts of Horizon: An American Saga cast doubt over whether the saga will be finished at all. The massive and exciting cast of Horizon will probably not be enough to bring audiences to the theaters, but there may be hope for the four-part series. It will need to have legs at the box office to stand any chance of continuing, as Costner won’t be able to fund the project’s completion without the support of a strong box office showing from the first two parts.

 

Ironically, one of the possible saviors of Horizon: An American Saga could in fact be Yellowstone. The show’s incredible popularity proved that there is still an appetite for Western drama with the modern viewing audience, and it’s that very same audience that could turn out for Horizon. That audience’s familiarity and affinity for Costner could go a long way towards getting them to the theater for the first part of Horizon: An American Saga, but admittedly the prospects for the saga look dim.

 

 

 

 

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