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With 'The Expendables 2' hitting theaters, a look at other great film ensembles

Here we take a look at some of the best examples of supremely successful high-head count films.

With ‘The Expendables 2’ hitting theaters Friday, we have proof once again that if you pack a ton of high-profile talent into one film, you can’t lose. Here we take a look at some of the best examples of supremely successful high-head count films.



‘The Avengers’ (2012)

The cast: Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tom Hiddleston, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard

High-power headcount: 11

Critical reaction: 92% approval rating on RottenTomatoes.com

What made it great: With a snappy script, skillful performances and powerful action sequences, “The Avengers” offered a well-rounded meal for hungry comic book fans.

Opening box office take: $207.4 million

‘Ocean’s Eleven’ (2001)

The cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Elliott Gould, Andy Garcia, Casey Affleck, Bernic Mac, Carl Reiner, Scott Kahn

High-power headcount: 11

Critical reaction: 82% approval rating on RottenTomatoes.com

What made it great: Funny, stylish, smart and very, very sexy, this heist caper front-loaded talent, making Steven Soderbergh’s skill as a director shine that much brighter.

Opening box office take: $38 million

‘Pulp Fiction’ (1994)

The cast: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, Harvey Keitel, Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Ving Rhames, Rosanna Arquette, Eric Stoltz, Christopher Walken

High power headcount: 10



Critical reaction:
95% approval rating on RottenTomatoes.com

What made it great: Quentin Tarantino’s landmark film resurrected John Travolta’s career and became a watershed moment for indie cinema’s increasing profitability.

Opening box office take: $9.3 million

‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ (2001)

The cast: Gene Hackman, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Danny Glover, Bill Murray, Anjelica Houston, Alec Baldwin, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson

High power headcount: 9

Critical reaction: 80% approval rating on RottenTomatoes.com

What made it great: Director Wes Anderson’s quirky film about family dysfunction utilized each actor’s strongest talents so well that the film is largely considered his best. A 2008 survey by film magazine Empire named it the 159th best film of all time.

Opening box office take: $8.5 million

‘The Expendables’ (2010)

The cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Steve Austin, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Randy Couture, Bruce Willis

High power headcount: 9

Critical reaction: 41% approval rating on RottenTomatoes.com

What made it great: The first “Expendables” film may not have found favor with critics, but box office numbers don’t lie — audiences loved this over-the-top homage to the action films of the 1980s.

Opening box office take: $34.8M

 
 
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