Universal Pictures has moved the release date of upcoming horror-comedy Happy Death Day 2U from 14 February to 13 February after being made aware that the original release date coincided with the anniversary of the Parkland shooting, which took place last year. In addition to that, Universal has also decided not to market or release the film in Parkland.
The studio issued the following statement:
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 13th. 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 memorialising the February 14th date as an opportunity to continue to allow the Parkland community to heal.
Universal first became aware of the unfortunate date clash when Fred Guttenberg, the father of shooting victim Jamie Guttenberg, tweeted his disapproval. He wrote: “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!!!!”
The studio was quick to react, with Guttenberg following up his previous tweet with the following: “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.”
It doesn’t happen often, but it’s great to see a major studio thinking with its heart and actually listening to feedback.
Happy Death Day 2U is in cinemas from 13 February 2019. Get all the latest horror news with every issue of SciFiNow.