To date, The Expendables 3 has earned a solid $189 million worldwide because, like the first and second films before it, the foreign markets just can’t get enough of Sylvester Stallone and his team of throwback action stars comically kicking every ass in their way. However, despite that impressive number, the folks at Millennium Films are still really upset about how poorly Expendables 3 performed at the box office right here in the U.S. of A, where Stallone has been an action god for what feels like eternity. While the first Expendables earned $103 million domestically, the second film earned $85 million, and the third? Just a measly $38 million. So why the heck are less people paying to see guys who could be their grandparents (and Jason Statham and Jet Li) than they were four years ago?
Some might argue it’s because it’s repetitive, pointless drivel that was created for the purpose of taking our money in exchange for synthetic nostalgia, but those suits at Millennium are instead blaming it on PIRATES. Remember how upset the studio was when it was revealed that millions of people had been illegally downloading a clean, post-production copy of The Expendables 3? Well, Millennium created its own team of lawyers in response, not only to go after the websites that were hosting the illegal copies, but now also to threaten individuals with copyright infringement lawsuits.
Ira Siegel, an attorney who represents copyright holders in attacks against torrent users, confirms to The Hollywood Reporter that he is representing Millennium Films and has been sending out demand letters. CEG TEK, an anti-piracy shop, confirms the same.
The letters, which have reported on some message boards, state, “You may be held liable for monetary damages, including court costs and/or attorney fees if a lawsuit is commenced against you for unauthorized copying and/or distribution of the Work listed above. You have until Sunday, October 5, 2014 to access the settlement offer and settle online.” (Via The Hollywood Reporter)
After some quick snooping, I was able to find a copy of two CEG TEK International settlement notices that were sent to web hosting site Choopa, which was in turn asked to forward them to the account holders of the listed IP addresses. Now, I’m no big shot city slicker fancy lawyer type with a degree in wearing suspenders, but these so-called “copyright trolls” have been trying to carve a new niche in the legal game for some time now, and a case like this that has so many possible targets basically has dollar signs written all over it, despite the fact that these cases can be “far from slam dunks.”
However, as THR points out, people who are actually guilty of illegally downloading this movie could end up paying anywhere between a few hundred or thousands of dollars. And sorry, “But the third one was just flaming ass wreckage” is not going to hold up in a court of law. But if you ask me, the first person these lawyers should question? You guessed it…