Happy Death Day was a very clever horror-movie version of the Groundhog Day formula. Happy Death Day 2U was a funny and scary sequel worthy of its title, which is maybe the best name for a horror sequel ever. So when are we going to get a Happy Death Day 3?

According to Happy Death Day franchise director Christopher Landon, he’s wanted to do it. In fact, he told The Hollywood Reporter that if he could green light any project rattling around in his head, it would be Happy Death Day 3. But there’s a problem; Happy Death Day 2U did not perform as well at the box office as the first film. ($64.6 million worldwide versus $125.4 million.)

Now $64.6 million for a relatively small horror film is not a terrible total. Unfortunately, from the way Landon is describing it, these films keep getting bigger, not smaller. As he described his concept for the third film...

I have that movie in my head, and I know exactly what I want. It’s actually a bigger movie than the previous two films, and that’s part of the issue, ultimately. This third movie needs a bigger budget, but since the second movie didn’t perform as well as the first, it’s a tall order. But I’m still holding out hope that Universal will give me a chance because it would be a really fun conclusion.

Happy Death Day 2U did leave a cliffhanger for a sequel, but it didn’t seem like a “bigger movie” in any meaningful way. I don’t know that what the franchise needed were more epic stakes anyway; the appeal of the first two movies were their repetition of these mundane characters running for their lives (and lives and lives). It’s not clear what the solution would be here, but I enjoyed both of the first two movies, and I would definitely like to see a third at some point.

Landon’s new film, We Have a Ghost, premieres on Netflix on February 24.

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