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Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon and Lionsgate Films have been sued by author Peter Gallagher, who claims 2012’s The Cabin in the Woods movie infringes his copyright.

Peter Gallagher, who says that the damages equal or exceed $10 million, claims that the movie was ripped straight from the pages of his book.

In the lawsuit, filed in California on April 13, Peter Gallagher claims that the horror film and his book are “virtually identical” in numerous respects.

The writer claims that he published The Little White Trip: A Night in the Pines in 2006 and registered the book with the Writers Guild of America in 2007. According to the lawsuit, Peter Gallagher published two runs of the book totaling 7,500 copies and hawked them in areas including Santa Monica, California, the Venice Beach boardwalk and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.Cabin in the Woods copyright infringement

The similarities between Peter Gallagher’s book and the film are myriad, the suit claims.

“Comparing the Book to the Film, the plots, stories, characters, sequence of events, themes, dialogue, and incidents portrayed in the two works are fictional and, in many respects, the elements in the two works are virtually identical,” the complaint claims.

The suit also claims: “Like the book, <<Cabin in the Woods>> tells the story of five friends (three guys and two girls) between the ages of 17 and 22 who take a trip to a remote cabin in the woods. The cabin’s previous inhabitants were murdered by the father of the family, who returns to terrorize the group of friends.

In the end, it is revealed that the friends are being filmed and manipulated by persons behind the scenes, thus becoming inadvertent characters in a real-life horror show for the enjoyment of others.”

Peter Gallagher even says that the two main female characters in his book are named Julie and Dura, whereas in the film they’re named Jules and Dana.


The Avengers has topped the US and Canadian box office for the second week in a row, taking $103.2 million, studio estimates suggest.

Superhero movie The Avengers is now the first in Hollywood history to ring up more than $100 million in its second weekend of release.

It is the movie’s second record, after scoring the biggest-ever US opening weekend, with takings of $207.4 million.

The blockbuster sees a team of Marvel comic-book heroes team up to fight an extra-terrestrial threat.

Among the cast are Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth – who have appeared in previous Marvel movies as Iron Man, Black Widow and Thor, respectively.

The Avengers has topped the US and Canadian box office for the second week in a row, taking $103.2 million

The Avengers has topped the US and Canadian box office for the second week in a row, taking $103.2 million

Globally, the film looks set to top the $1 billion mark this weekend, distributor Disney said on Sunday.

The Avengers’ performance this week left Tim Burton and Johnny Depp’s Dark Shadows standing in the dust.

Their spoof horror movie, which opened on Friday, made an otherwise-respectable $28.8 million, taking second place at the box office.

Romantic comedy Think Like a Man finished in third place with ticket sales of $6.3 million.

The Avengers was directed and co-written by Joss Whedon, creator of the TV series Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

An Oscar-winner for his work on Toy Story, Joss Whedon has had a notoriously rough decade – with TV series Firefly and Dollhouse cancelled, and his horror film Cabin In The Woods delayed by three years due to financial trouble at MGM.

After The Avengers took $207.4 million in the US last week – the biggest opening weekend on record – Joss Whedon posted a public letter on his website, thanking his supporters.

“Topping a box office record is super-dope,” he wrote.

“People have told me that this matters, that my life is about to change. I am sure that is true. And change is good – change is exciting.

“What doesn’t change is that I’ve had the smartest, most loyal, most passionate, most articulate group of – I’m not even gonna say fans. I’m going with ‘peeps’ – that any cult oddity such as my bad self could have dreamt of.”

Joss Whedon also faced up to the fact that his box office success could soon be eclipsed by The Dark Knight Rises – the heavily-anticipated final chapter of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.

“I will feel sad, but let’s look at the bigger picture,” he said.

“I can’t say this enough: This is not a zero sum game. Our successes, whoever has the mostest, are a boon to each other.”

Elsewhere in the US box office, The Hunger Games held on to the number four spot, bringing its total domestic takings to $388 million.

Zac Efron’s romantic drama The Lucky One was at number five, while two British films took spots in the top ten.

Aardman’s Pirates! was at number six, taking $3.1 million, while comedy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel jumped from 16 to 8, taking $2.7 million.