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Universal Pictures had set Happy Death Day 2U to open on February 14. However, while many people simply think of that date as Valentine's Day, for an unfortunate group of people, that day will be one of remembrance of love that has been lost. This February 14 will be the one year anniversary of the Parkland school shooting, which has caused Universal Pictures to move the release of Happy Death Day 2U, up one day, in order to prevent it from opening on the anniversary. In a statement Universal Pictures says...
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.
Happy Death Day 2U has had a remarkably fast turn around. The original film came out in October of 2017 and the sequel was scheduled to be released less than a year and a half later. A lot of decisions had to be made quickly, including the decision of when to release the sequel. Holiday weekends are always popular choices for film releases and it seems very likely that's all that was in the equation for Universal when February 14 was chosen. For the vast majority of people, Valentine's Day is just a minor holiday that works as a great excuse to take your significant other to dinner, or, as Universal hoped, a movie.
However, in the months between the two Happy Death Day movies, a school shooting took place on Valentine's Day and so for the parents of those that were lost, the timing of such a violent movie, with just about the worst possible title, is bringing up all the wrong emotions. Universal's statement to Fox News goes on to state that in addition to the film not opening on the anniversary of the shooting, the film will not be shown or marketed in any way in the Parkland, Florida area.
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.
Clearly, this is the right call. The shooting made national news but for the people who live in Parkland, Florida and lost a child, there's no need to have the pain compounded in this way. Those in the area who want to see the film may need to travel a bit, but that's a small price to pay for the comfort of others.
Happy Death Day 2U will now open February 13.