Michael Rooker Defends Kevin Costner’s Horizon Amid Box Office Defeat 5

Michael Rooker is standing up for Kevin Costner‘s Horizon saga following the first film’s extremely modest opening weekend box office performance.

Rooker — who plays Sgt. Major Thomas Riordan in the film — was asked about Horizon‘s ticket sales, which tallied only $11 million for the three-hour film. The Guardians of the Galaxy star seemed to suggest audiences with short attention spans weren’t ready for Costner’s experiment with long-form cinema, which includes three more films yet to come.

“We ain’t used to that shit,” the 69-year-old Rooker told TMZ. “We’re used to 90-minute movies, everything’s 90 minutes. Oh come on. Give me a break. Get over that shit. You know, 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 it’s not all fast cut-cut-cut.”

Asked if audiences are “TikTok-ified,” Rooker replies, “Of course they are! They gotta get over that crap, come on. Yeah, they’ve gotta learn what it’s like to watch real cinema. Go see the movie … There’s three more to go, be prepared.”

Rooker also defended Costner as the project’s director and star.

“He is brilliant in this,” Rooker added. “He’s a brilliant director, and he has the ability to pick absolutely the cream of the crop.”

The first Horizon film cost $100 million, with Costner saying he invested $38 million of his own money into the project. The second film in the franchise opens in mid-August, with some tickets being sold in a bundle with the first film.

While Costner hasn’t commented on Horizon box office since the numbers came out, he made some pre-emptive comments on the subject to Entertainment Weekly, suggesting it’s misguided to put all the focus on a movie’s opening weekend gross. “If we put so much pressure on that, we’re bound to be disappointed,” he said. “I’m really happy that Horizon looks like what it’s supposed to look like, and that’s the way it’ll look the rest of its life. And that’s really important to me in this process.”

Meanwhile, Comscore chief box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian previously told The Hollywood Reporter that “the streaming potential down the road is huge for this franchise,” and that Horizon “has appeal among the older demographics, for whom this type of movie is in their wheelhouse.”

Many critics have noted that Horizon looks like cinema yet moves at the pace of a streaming title, which some called a key problem with the film. Overall, the movie has 43 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Given that the second Horizon film is a direct sequel to the first, and sequels often underperform compared to the original, many observers are wondering about its prospects. Costner is currently shooting the third film in the saga, which doesn’t yet have a release date.

Meanwhile’s Costner’s former Paramount Network hit Yellowstone is currently shooting its long-awaited final episodes without the star. THR crunched the numbers and found that its pretty clear Yellowstone fans didn’t show up for Costner’s film, a project that caused scheduling tension behind the scenes of the hit series. As for Costner quitting Yellowstone, Rooker noted, “That’s what we do. We’re actors. I did The Walking Dead. I got killed off. I don’t know why.”

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