Yesterday, we reported that an outraged parent of a teenage victim of last year’s Parkland school shooting was upset with Blumhouse Productions and Universal about the upcoming release date for “Happy Death Day 2U.” The actual release date of February 14 coincided with the first anniversary of the tragic event. Well, according to Universal, the studio is willing to move the date for the film…kind of.
In what is seemingly purely a PR move, Universal provided a statement that said the studio would move the release of “Happy Death Day 2U” from February 14 to…February 13. Yes, that means that the film will actually only be released a mere 24 hours earlier and will still be in theaters on the anniversary of Parkland shooting. So, that’s…something, I suppose.
“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,’’ Universal said in a statement (via Fox News).
The statement continued, “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.”
So, ultimately, Universal went to the trouble of releasing the film only hours before it was going to release the film anyway, ostensibly not changing much at all. However, the biggest change seems to be the fact that the studio will discontinue all advertisements in the Parkland, Florida region, meaning that in that little bubble, “Happy Death Day 2U” will seemingly not exist. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
Regardless of the efficacy of the release date change, Fred Guttenberg, the outspoken parent that caused the outrage in the first place, seems satisfied.
“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,” tweeted Guttenberg.
As long as those affected by the Parkland shooting seem happy, then that’s probably the best result. However, it’s hard to pat Universal on the back for this one. While the headline may say that the studio moved the release date, which definitely happened, it’s clearly nothing more than a PR move to satiate a small group of people and effectively do absolutely nothing to derail the studio’s bottom line.
TL:DR; “Happy Death Day 2U” will still be in theaters on Valentine’s Day, which is all Universal cared about. And for those that live in Parkland, then you’ll have to go elsewhere to watch the film. So…yay?
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.
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) January 16, 2019