HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U hit theaters almost two years ago and fans of the offbeat comedy/slasher film franchise have been awaiting word of a third installment. Released in 2017, HAPPY DEATH DAY became a surprise success when it grossed $55.6 million at the domestic box office and $125.4 million worldwide, all on a $4.8 million budget. HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U came in 2019 but it proved to be less successful, pulling in $28.1 million domestically and $64.6 million globally. What has had fans holding out hope for a third film is, despite the diminishing returns, the second film only cost $9 million to make so Blumhouse Productions and Universal Pictures still pulled in a profit. Writer/Director Christopher Landon, who has just delivered Blumhouse Productions another critical and potential financial hit with FREAKY, revealed during an interview with “Entertainment Tonight” that he is fully ready to begin work on a third installment but he needs Universal Pictures to get on board.
“I need a truckload of cash, if you could just find that for me, I’ll send you my address, you can just drop it off. I get this question a lot and I know that there’s a huge fan base and there are a lot of people who want to see the conclusion, as I would say, to the trilogy. I think it really comes down to Universal deciding whether they want it or not, only time will tell. We’re ready to make it. Like, I have an outline, I’m ready to go write the script, [star] Jessica Rothe, the whole cast, everybody’s on board. They all know what the idea is, they love it, so we’ll see.”
I think Universal Pictures should strongly consider making a third film, especially in this new climate that is being ruled by PVOD releases and streaming due to the pandemic. A third HAPPY DEATH DAY could prove very successful on the digital platform. Landon also seems to believe that a third film would find a much better life at home:
“I think that everybody wants it, but I think it’s just a logistical challenge right now. And there’s been talk that maybe they would try and make it for their new streaming service, for Peacock, so I think there’s a real shot that it could eventually happen. And the great thing about the idea is that, and this is a spoiler, it’s not set in the same day that the other two films were set in so it allows us to sort of take our time a little bit and figure it out.”
To their credit, Blumhouse Productions does seem to love working with Landon and they love his vision for a full HAPPY DEATH DAY trilogy. Even with the diminishing returns, the sequel made a profit when it was all said and done so a third film seems like a no-brainer to me. Jason Blumb has also said in past interviews that the studio is committed to eventually completing the franchise with a third movie:
“It’s a trilogy. I’ve got to make the third one. Maybe after Freaky we’ll figure it out. Both of us really want to do it. So hopefully we’ll figure it out. That’s a perfect [premium video-on-demand] movie. Universal has this agreement–17 days in the theater. The same as Freaky, 17 days in a theater and then [it] goes to PVOD. We should make Happy Death Day 3 for that system. I mean, if that movie isn’t right for it, I don’t know what is. So that’s what it would be.”
HAPPY DEATH DAY followed a college student named Tree (Jessica Rothe) who must relive the day of her murder over and over again, in a loop that will end only when she discovers the killer’s identity. On top of being a box office hit, HAPPY DEATH DAY also scored with critics, landing a 71% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U, which leaned more on its comedic elements with a touch more sci-fi, once again follows Tree who is accidentally transported to another dimension, where she must relive a different version of the same day repeatedly as she tries to return home, while a new killer is on the loose. Even though the film didn’t earn as much at the box office, critics still found the sequel solid with a 70% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Do YOU want to see a third HAPPY DEATH DAY happen? Is it perfect for a streaming or PVOD release?