Happy Death Day 3 is one of the biggest mysteries in Blumhouse's horror empire. The Groundhog Day-inspired franchise from writer-director Christopher Landon had a strong start in 2017, but after the sequel flopped in theaters, Landon and Blumhouse moved on to Freaky (a Freaky Friday-inspired slasher in theaters on November 13).
But don't rule out a Happy Death Day 3 release date just yet. Inverse spoke with Landon and Blumhouse Productions CEO Jason Blum, who both confirmed that the threequel can still happen and is actually further along than you might think — even if there are some obstacles in the way.
Happy Death Day 2U ended with a post-credits scene that clearly set up a third movie, leaning into the sequel's science fiction plotline.
"There's definitely more to tell," Landon tells Inverse. "I had the third movie outlined, but Universal didn't move forward with it, and no one really knows why yet."
But Jason Blum knows why, and the answer is simple: money.
"It didn’t happen immediately afterward because the second movie didn’t make enough money," Blum says.
He's not wrong. Happy Death Day was undeniably a hit for Blumhouse and its distributor Universal, earning $125.5 million worldwide against a budget of just $4.8 million. For Happy Death Day 2U, Blumhouse doubled the budget to $9 million but only grossed $64.5 million worldwide. That was enough to shut down the possibility of a third movie. At least temporarily.
"The reason it’s still alive is because I’m very passionate about it.” — Jason Blum
"The reason it’s still alive is because I’m very passionate about it, I think we should do it," Blum says. "It’s very rare that you make a second sequel after a movie that didn’t perform very well, but I want to do it because I thought the second movie was spectacular. It didn’t perform well for reasons having nothing to do with the film. I really want to make a third one and I think we’re going to figure it out.”
That's about as close to confirmation for a Happy Death Day 3 release date as we're likely to get any time soon, but in the meantime, Landon does have some interesting ideas for where the franchise will go if it's ever resurrected.
"It was another kind of batshit direction to go in," he says, "but that was the whole fun of it for me. I’m stress testing the limits of how many genres you can straddle in one franchise."
Freaky will be released in theaters on Friday, November 13.