Universal Pictures

Filmmaker Christopher Landon’s “Happy Death Day” in 2017, a “Groundhog Day”-esque darkly comedic spin on the slasher genre, was a critical and box-office success – pulling in $125 million worldwide on a $4.8 million budget and making a star out of its lead Jessica Rothe.

Landon followed up the smash success with a more sci-fi-tinged sequel “Happy Death Day 2U” in 2019 that made only half as much ($64 million worldwide) for double the budget ($9 million) though reviews were mostly pretty good too.

During the promotion of that sequel, Landon indicated he had done a story outline for a third film, but they were waiting to see how the second one went. When it came in under expectations, the third entry seemed to stall in development.

Since then, both Landon and Jason Blum have said they hope to make it, but the chances seem slim. Landon has since directed the Netflix film “We Have a Ghost” and whilst out promoting it, he was asked by Slashfilm about the status of “Happy Death Day 3”. He said:

“No movement at all, sadly. There was a tiny moment where I really felt like I had Universal’s attention, but they forgot about me. [laughs] I think it’s a really tough one for them, and I’m being really blunt and honest in that the first movie was very successful. It made a lot of money. It was well-received. And the sequel was not.

The sequel is loved by people who have seen it, but it did not make a lot of money, and it was not a success for them. So it’s very hard to motivate them to make a third movie when the last one just didn’t perform. Those are the hard economics of the business.

So I don’t know what it would take. There was talk for a minute of it maybe being a Peacock thing. Maybe. Maybe one day. The beauty of it is that my idea, the whole idea for the third movie, is not dependent on any sort of specific window or timeframe. So I could make it any time, but I mean, as the years draw past, I feel like our chances are dimming.”

Landon says he and Blum are aware that “there are a lot of people out there who want the movie, but I just think it just isn’t enough.”

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