Actor Defends Kevin Costner’s ‘Horizon’ After Epic Box Office Flop

Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty Images
Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty Images

Kevin Costner’s self-financed passion project Horizon hasn’t been doing so well at the box office—and his costar Michael Rooker has a theory about why.

TMZ caught up with the Rooker this week, who told the site that audiences aren’t “used” to “real cinema” anymore. “We’re used to 90 minute movies. Everything’s 90 minutes,” Rooker said. “We ain’t used to that shit.”

Horizon will have three more installments and Costner is reportedly still moving ahead with the rest, undaunted by the first film’s lackluster ability to attract moviegoers. Rooker said he finds it “crazy” that people aren’t clamoring to see the film by Costner, who he called a “brilliant” director. “It’s real cinema folks,” he also told TMZ. “Let’s watch a movie that actually tells a story where you learn about the people and you grow to like them or hate them.”

And hate them, many critics did. The New Yorker reported that Horizon “goes west but gets nowhere,” while The New York Post asked in the headline of its critique, “Kevin Costner Quit Yellowstone For This?!” Entertainment Weekly pointed out the film’s three hour runtime while calling part of the movie “dull as dirt.”

The Daily Beast’s Obsessed’s critic Nick Schager said the film is “so expansive and incomplete that it resembles a modern television series awkwardly edited into feature form.”

While some thought the film was “great,” positive reviews of Horizon are hard to come by—and the box office has largely reflected this. This past weekend, the estimated $100 million budget film earned only $11 million.

That has to be disappointing news for Costner, who reportedly took out loans on his real estate holdings to fund the film series. He presumably did so while going through a rather public and contentious divorce from ex-wife of 18 years Christine Baumgartner, who he reportedly agreed to pay $63,000 a month in addition to the costs of their three children’s education and healthcare.

But Rooker said he’s not counting Costner out, even though he’s never been “involved with a project and you have three more, four more to go” that flops, he told TMZ. He doesn't blame the film, insisting instead that audiences “gotta learn what it’s like to watch real cinema—please.”

As for the long runtime—the film clocks in at three hours—he offered some sage advice: “Go to the bathroom before you go in.”

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