A big week for people who were once in this particular Jay Leno clip and who are now suing Hollywood over the box-office performance of their action thrillers, as THR reports that Gerard Butler has just decided to sue Millennium Media for $10 million over profit-sharing claims in regards to his 2013 flick Olympus Has Fallen. This comes in the wake of the big Scarlett Johansson/Disney lawsuit that landed yesterday, obviously, and while the actual details of Butler’s suit are pretty different from the Black Widow argument, the timing still has that “Oh, hey, bandwagon” feel.
Specifically: Butler has now issued a $10 million fraud claim against Millennium, the long-running independent studio best known for pumping out action movies ranging from Sylvester Stallone’s late-career output to next month’s Maggie Q vehicle The Protegé. Butler’s suit claims that he’s never received any portion of the net profits from Olympus, despite the fact that the film was a surprise hit at the box office, beating the film it was supposed to be imitating—Channing Tatum’s White House Down—both to the release schedule, and in terms of cash brought in. Butler claims that Millennium has been intentionally hiding the film’s profits from him, despite the fact that it grossed roughly $170 million on a budget reported at $70 million.
It’s hard to say, at present, whether the timing of Butler’s lawsuit, so soon after Johansson decided to take on The Big Mean Mouse, was a coincidence, or whether there’s an attempt here to establish some sort of zeitgeist. Notably, Butler’s not claiming—as Johansson is—that Millennium somehow fucked up Olympus’ box office performance, given that it was almost certainly way higher than anyone actually expected. He just wants to be paid for his good work of keeping Aaron Eckhart safe from…North Korean terrorists, we think? We’ll be honest, it’s been a second since we’ve thought about Olympus Has Fallen in any context, legal or otherwise. Still, though: It’s not clear why he’s been sitting on this gripe for the last 8 years (and two sequels!) before pursuing the matter in a court.