Mike Fleming

It took him 20 years, but Millennium Films’ Avi Lerner has notched his first film to pass the $300 million worldwide gross mark. The Expendables 2 just crossed that threshold. The movie, which the company said has grossed over $53 million in China, has yet to open in Japan so that number will grow higher.

Lerner, with partners Trevor Short and Danny Dimbort, formed the sales company Nu Image in 1992, and then Millennium Films in 1996. They will undoubtedly put together another Expendables installment (will Jeff Speakman finally get a call?), and they are exploring the feminine side of the action game: Millennium just hired Legally Blonde scribes Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith to write ExpendaBelles, Lerner brought in Mark Gill to raise the level of productions–let’s face it, there is some schlock in that library–and it certainly helps the cause when you put up that kind of gross on a $100 million budget.