As for “Chapter 2,” it seems like there’s a small chance the second film could still eventually get a delayed theatrical release, but reading between the lines here, it’s probably more likely that it ends up going straight to VOD. Same with the third and fourth movies, which never received distribution deals in the first place. And that’s assuming Costner even pushes through and completes his vision of making four films.

Currently, it looks like the first film is going to lose a lot of money, setting up the rest of the franchise to falter as well. It is believed that “Chapter 2” also comes with a budget in the $100 million range, meaning a lot of money is on the line. It is not much of New Line’s money, however, as they are just marketing and distributing the film for a fee. Costner put $38 million of his own cash into the project. He also secured a great deal of financing from mysterious investors, in addition to selling off foreign rights to help pay for the production. Costner is on the hook for the marketing costs, as well. He’s already in production on “Chapter 3,” and all signs currently indicate he intends to proceed, but time will tell. Costner is certainly banking on the DVD market to help make up the difference.

There’s a lot of money on the line here. For theater owners, this is a last-second change they will have to grapple with. Tickets were already being sold for the second installment of “Horizon,” and those tickets will need to be refunded. In a separate statement, Territory Pictures had this to say about the decision:

“The audience response to Horizon, and enthusiasm for seeing our story continue in Horizon 2, has been incredibly gratifying. Kevin made this film for people who love movies and who wanted to go on a journey. The support that we have received from film fans, and the theater owners, as they experience the first chapter of this saga only serves to reinforce our belief in them and the films that we have made, and we thank them for coming on board for the ride. We welcome the opportunity for that window to be expanded as we know it will only serve to enhance the experience of seeing Horizon 2.”

“Horizon: An American Saga — Chapter 1” is in theaters now.

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