‘Happy Death Day 2U’ moves release from Parkland shooting anniversary
Happy Death Day was a somewhat of a surprise hit when it was unleashed in theaters in 2017. The film topped its opening weekend, unsurprisingly as it debuted on Friday, Oct. 13. As is the case with many horror movies with moderate success, Universal Pictures soon announced production on a sequel.
This past September, the next film’s release date was set for Feb. 14, 2019. While many view the date as Valentine’s Day, it’s also a day where many members of the Parkland, Florida community lost their lives.
On Feb. 14, 2018, a shooter opened fire in Stoneman Douglas High School, killing 17 and injuring 17 others. Since then, survivors haven’t sat by idly, launching efforts for gun control including March For Our Lives.
Fred Guttenburg’s 14-year-old daughter Jaime was one of the victims. He took to social media to voice his concerns over the horror film’s planned release date.“My daughter and 16 others were killed on February 14th. Universal Studios is releasing a move a movie called Happy Death Day 2 U? I get the pun on Valentines Day, for me it will always be the day my daughter was murdered. Please reconsider this!!!!”
Guttenburg also reached out to Happy Death Day 2U’s production company Blumhouse and its founder Jason Blum:“@jason_blum, @blumhouse I sent you an email about this earlier. Please, take a look at my email. I am pleading with you to move this date. I will work with you in any way to help make your movie successful, just please move the release date. Thank you.”
The following day, Guttenburg announced that he discussed the film with executives and they would be moving its release date:“Very happy to announce that I just got off the phone with executives at Universal Studios. They will be moving the release date of the movie off of February 14th and they will also be taking steps to address the local needs of the Parkland community. This was a great outcome.”
Universal Pictures released a statement confirming they were moving the date by one day to Feb. 13. They will also not be showing the film in Parkland, Florida and suspending advertising for it within the area:
“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.”
Check out the film’s trailer below.
See more: The 11 most punk films of all time