The Butterfly Effect 2 is a 2006 psychological thriller film directed by John R. Leonetti, starring Eric Lively, Erica Durance, Dustin Milligan and Gina Holden. The film is largely unrelated to the 2004 film The Butterfly Effect and was released direct-to-DVD October 10, 2006.
Julie (Erica Durance) and her boyfriend, Nick (Eric Lively), are celebrating Julie’s 24th birthday with another couple, Trevor (Dustin Milligan) and Amanda (Gina Holden). Julie begins to tell Nick something important, but he interrupts her. They begin discussing their future, with Nick telling her his job will make him successful enough for both of them, and asking her not to move to New York to pursue photography. Nick is called in to work before Julie can tell him her news. He has to go to the meeting because he is up against co-worker Dave (David Lewis) for a promotion. The four friends drive back to the city. When Julie unbuckles her seatbelt to take a picture of Trevor and Amanda, a tire blows out and their car stalls in the middle of the road where a semi-truck smashes into them.
Nick lies in a hospital bed unconscious, having flashbacks of the accident, when he starts seizing. His mother tells the nurse that he is having a nightmare, an occasional occurrence since childhood. He awakens to learn the others did not survive. Later, while looking at a photograph of himself and Julie, everything in the room begins to shudder and shake, while the people in the photograph begin moving.
One year later, Nick is at his job supervised by Dave. While presenting a sales pitch to investors for his company’s, “nextgen software for handhelds,” Nick experiences another episode of his environment becoming unstable after seeing a photograph which includes Trevor. This ruins his sales pitch and he is given a week’s suspension.
At home, Nick is looking at photographs from Julie’s birthday when he finds a picture of him driving everyone home. He transports back to the moment just before the tire blew. He yells at Julie to buckle-up, and the tire blows as before. This time they avoid the semi-truck, hitting a tree instead.
Nick awakens in a new timeline where Julie is living with him. It is her 25th birthday and they go to dinner where he tells her he remembers the past year differently. Trevor and Amanda arrive and Nick learns they are getting married and he is Trevor’s best man.
At a staff meeting, Nick learns that Trevor has been fired. Nick accuses his supervisor of using Trevor as a scapegoat for a sales deal that fell through, and is fired as well. Julie is angry with him, reminding him that she could have moved to New York instead of having a minimum wage job. Nick tells her he understands what is important in life: that they are together.
Later, Nick sees a Christmas photograph of him, his friends, and his supervisor, Dave, on the fridge. Nick experiences another episode; suddenly he is at the party. Nick sees Dave, fakes tripping so he is able to spill wine on him, and then steals Dave’s file of a specific investor (earlier Nick mentioned Dave got his promotion due to Nick’s work).
Nick finds himself in a timeline where he is the vice-president of the company. He phones Julie, getting her answering machine, with her message revealing she owns a local photography studio. Nick leaves her a message to meet him that night after he finishes a sale pitch meeting. Nick gives a successful pitch at the meeting, and learns he is having an affair with the boss’ daughter when she follows him into the restroom. She uses Nick’s handheld to photograph them kissing.
When Nick gets home Trevor tells him that a deal with a shady investor named Malcolm is in trouble. Nick tells Trevor he will fix things, then asks about Julie. Trevor has not kept in touch with her since Nick broke up with her a few months earlier.
Nick learns the next day that the sales pitch to the investor did not go through. He relays to his boss that Malcolm wants his investment money back. His boss informs him the company is broke, and it is Nick’s fault. Nick was unable to get a crucial investor several months ago, the one from the file he stole from Dave. Nick continues trying to contact Julie.
Nick and Trevor are at Malcolm’s nightclub when Nick spots Julie taking photographs. She wants nothing to do with him and has a new boyfriend. Nick tells Malcolm he is unable to return the money, and Malcolm has Trevor killed. Nick runs out of the room being shot at, when a stray bullet hits Julie, killing her. Nick attempts to escape using the photo taken earlier by the boss’ daughter, but fails and is knocked out and captured.
Nick goes back in time and confesses everything to his mother. She tells him his father also tried to control things and ultimately committed suicide. Nick meets with Amanda who brings a photograph from Julie’s 24th birthday.
Nick transports to the scene from the start of the movie. He tells Julie she should move to New York and breaks up with her. Julie tells him she is having his baby, but he ignores her. Upset, Julie takes his SUV and speeds down the road. Nick chases after her in a stolen jeep and pulls alongside her (in the wrong lane) to urge her to stop. With an oncoming vehicle approaching, Nick drives off the road and over the edge of a cliff, presumably dying.
One year later. Julie lives in New York with her son, Nick Jr., who has an episode of his environment becoming unstable while looking at the 24th birthday photograph of his parents and their friends, which is left in a changed state.