Usually, when a filmmaker steals from another movie, they pick something relatively obscure, so the theft isn't immediately obvious. Luc Besson went the opposite route when filming 2012's Lockout, choosing as his target the 1981 classic Escape From New York.
In Escape, Kurt Russell plays a convict who enters a post-apocalyptic New York City, now a giant prison controlled by the inmates, to rescue the president. In Lockout, Guy Pearce plays a convict who travels to a space station, now a giant prison controlled by the inmates, to free the president's daughter. You can see why Escape's director, John Carpenter, decided to sue Besson for $2.4 million. Plagiarism can be a mighty expensive hobby.
As The Guardian reports, the judge initially awarded Carpenter 80,000 Euros (roughly $100,000), but Lesson appealed, claiming the judgment infringed on his "artistic freedom" and that Carpenter was guilty of copying movies like Mad Max. This approach failed miserably, as the appeals court increased the ruling to 450,000 Euros (over $530,000). They decided Besson stole tons of details from Carpenter, writing in their judgment, "[The heroes both] got into the prison by flying in a glider/space shuttle, had to confront inmates led by a chief with a strange right arm, found hugely important briefcases and meet a former sidekick who then dies…And at the end [both heroes] keep secret documents recovered during their mission." In short, if you're seeking a masterclass on writing your own film, Escape From Being Locked Out isn't it.