Universal Pictures announces new release date for horror film after it coincides with Parkland shooting anniversary

Universal Pictures announced Wednesday that the release date for the horror movie, “Happy Death Day 2U,” will be moved to avoid falling on the one-year anniversary of the deadly Parkland shooting in Florida last year.

The release was originally scheduled for Feb. 14, exactly one year after 17 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.

“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,’’ a Universal spokesman said in a statement to Fox News.

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In addition to the date change, Universal also said the movie would not be shown in the surrounding areas of the shooting location. 

In addition to the date change, Universal also said the movie would not be shown in the surrounding areas of the shooting location.  (Universal Pictures)

In addition to the date change, Universal also said the movie would not be shown in the surrounding areas of the shooting location.

“Following discussions with its partners in exhibition, Universal will move the North American release date to February 13,” the statement said. “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,” the statement continued.

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The decision followed a tweet from Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jamie was killed in the school shooting, Tuesday night urging Universal to “reconsider” the 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,” Guttenberg wrote. “Please reconsider this!!!!”

He went on to praise the studio on Wednesday, saying “this was a great outcome.”

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“Very happy to announce that I just got off the phone with executives at Universal Studios,” he tweeted. “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.”

The upcoming flick is a follow-up to “Happy Death Day” and tells the story of a teen who dies multiple times in an effort to thwart a serial killer and rescue her classmates.