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costner-ego.jpg

Kevin Costner's Ego Has Cost Him Dearly

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | July 10, 2024 |

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | July 10, 2024 |


costner-ego.jpg

When people talk about the confidence of mediocre white men, Kevin Costner is the poster boy. Don’t get me wrong: The mediocre white men among us aren’t completely useless, and Costner has made some fine movies in his time. He’s responsible for four of my favorite sports films: Tin Cup, For Love of the Game, Bull Durham, and Field of Dreams.

The problem with Costner is when he doesn’t have anyone around to say, “Hey, Kev: Maybe this isn’t such a great idea.” That’s how we ended up with Waterworld, not to mention The Postman, a three-hour post-apocalyptic film about a goddamn mail carrier. To his credit, few people flame out as hard as Kevin Costner, and he’s also made several great movies that never got the due they deserved (A Perfect World, The Company Men, The Upside of Anger, to name a few).

With Horizon: An American Saga, however, Kevin Costner seriously overestimated interest in Kevin Costner. The star of Open Range thought he was the reason Yellowstone has been so popular (he’s a reason, but not the reason), and so decided he’d make not one but four movies in a genre that hasn’t seen a box-office hit in America in a very long time and that almost never performs well overseas. No one outside the US gives a shit about Westerns, less so about a country with which the rest of the world has had about enough. Try selling a 12-hour saga about the Old West to France and Japan, and good luck with that.

Costner — who put tens of millions of his own dollars into this film and somehow coerced a big investor to put $50 million more toward his passion project — has officially struck out. The first part, which had a budget of around $100 million, has stalled at the box office with around $22 million and has already been scheduled for release on VOD on July 16th, two weeks after its theatrical release.

Costner’s ambitious plan was to sell a lot of tickets, gain even more viewers from VOD, and then release part two in August, capitalizing on the buzz of the first film. That didn’t work, so now Horizon: An American Saga — Chapter 2 has been pulled from theaters.

“Territory Pictures and New Line Cinema have decided not to release Horizon: Chapter 2 on August 16 in order to give audiences a greater opportunity to discover the first installment of Horizon over the coming weeks, including on PVOD and MAX. We thank our exhibition partners for their continued support as moviegoers across the US discover the film in its theatrical run,” the folks behind the movie said in a statement. Translation: “We’re cutting our losses.”

I don’t expect that part two will ever see theaters, and part three — which is already reportedly filming — will probably be quickly shut down before investors lose yet another shirt to Costner’s ego. One thing I’ll say about Costner, nevertheless, is this: Don’t count him out. Costner’s often best after he’s been humbled.