Universal Studios has announced a new release date for the upcoming horror sequel Happy Death Day 2U. Initially, the movie was set for a theatrical premiere for Valentine's Day next month, hitting the big screen on Feb. 14. However, this date happens to fall on the one-year anniversary of last year's tragedy at the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was one of the victims of the tragedy, had taken to social media to voice his concerns over the planned release date, saying the movie's title is insensitive to those still grieving the lives lost on that day. Now aware of the issue, Universal Pictures has issued a statement confirming they have changed the official release date for Happy Death Day 2U, bumping it up a day earlier to Feb. 13.
"When Universal Pictures became aware last week that the one-year anniversary of the tragic events in Parkland, Florida fell on the Happy Death Day 2U release date, the studio spoke with victim advocates and immediately began the process of changing the release date of the film. Following discussions with its partners in exhibition, Universal will move the North American release date to February 13. Additionally, the studio has decided not to show the film in Parkland and the surrounding areas. Outdoor, digital and in-theatre marketing for the film will be suspended in that market. The studio understands the importance of memorializing the February 14 date as an opportunity to continue to allow the Parkland community to heal."
Guttenberg has also confirmed the new release date on his Twitter account. Calling it a "great outcome," Guttenberg says he is happy to announce that the movie was given a new release date. It's also good to know those in the Parkland area won't be bombarded with advertising for the movie, as it will better allow the community to heal just one year past the massacre. As noted in previous tweets, Guttenberg had no objections to the movie's content or potential success. Rather, he just wanted its release to be moved to any other day besides the anniversary of the tremendously tragic event.
It's certainly fortunate that the situation has resulted in an outcome that will appease everyone. Horror fans will still be able to watch the movie on Valentine's Day weekend. Meanwhile, those in Parkland won't be distracted by the sequel's release on the anniversary of the tragedy. Moving up the release date by a day might seem like a small gesture in the overall scope of things, but every little bit help. If the decision plays a small part in easing the mourning so many surviving friends and family members will be experiencing that day, then the move is definitely worth it.
Happy Death Day 2U picks up two years after the events of the original. With returning writer and director Christopher Landon helming, the sequel features the return of Jessica Rothe as she winds up stuck in another time loop that kills her over and over again. This time, a new killer must be unmasked as Tree tries to get to the bottom of the mysterious time loop, putting an end to the repeated deaths once and for all. A dark comedy, the sequel looks to be just as humorous as the first, and Universal and Blumhouse are certainly hoping it will also be as well-received by viewers.
Happy Death Day 2U will be premiering in theaters next month on Feb. 13. In addition to director Christopher Landon and star Jessica Rothe returning, cast members Israel Broussard and Ruby Modine are also back to reprise their roles. You can take a look at Fred Guttenberg's tweet about the movie's new release date below.