Back in 2017, a little horror movie called Happy Death Day came out and was a surprise massive hit. The movie was such a hit that not only did it greenlight a sequel, the second movie came out 16 months later, an incredible turn out for any franchise. Since that time there has been a call for a third film from fans of the series, but it sounds like the anticipated Happy Death Day 3 is looking increasingly less likely.
Writer/director Christopher Landon recently spoke with Slashfilm and while he makes it clear that he is not giving up hope on making the third entry in the series, there has apparently been zero forward movement on another film since the release of the second movie. According to Landon, it’s all being stalled by the fact that Happy Death Day 2U just wasn’t the massive success of the first film.
The original Happy Death Day was produced on a budget reported to be less than $5 million, which is as close to zero as studio productions get. The movie would go on to make $125 million globally, making it quite possibly the most profitable movie of 2017. The sequel, Happy Death Day 2U would make half as much at the global box office, while also reportedly costing twice as much to produce.
While Happy Death Day 2U wasn’t the massive success of the first film, on paper it still looks like a success, making something like seven times its budget back, though that does not include marketing costs. Still, apparently Universal sees the second film as a failure, and is thus less interested in going back to that well.
Landon makes reference to a time that he thought he had the studio’s attention. In the summer of 2021 year Landon teased news on a third movie that never came. Almost exactly one year ago, Jason Blum of Blumhouse said something was “stirring” with the property, but yet again that seemingly went nowhere. Whatever these men thought might happen apparently never came through.
Still, Christopher Landon has not lost hope of making Happy Death Day 3 happen. He indicates that there’s a chance the movie could happen as a streaming exclusive on Peacock. Landon also reveals that the plan he has in mind for a third film is not time sensitive, so if it takes a few more years to make it happen, it won’t hurt the story. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time we saw a franchise get a new entry after years on the shelf, so there is always hope.