Jordan Nagai’s Up movie has grossed $264 million in the US since its release five weeks ago. Well, it’s a Pixar movie so that’s not much of a surprise. Then I was thinking, that’s a pretty high number for an Asian lead and if it was possible that Jordan Nagai, an 8-year-old kid and first time actor could be the top grossing Asian actor in the United States!!
Obviously, he walked into a good situation, but hey Pixar picked him out of hundreds and the quality of his performance speaks for itself. I wouldn’t be surprised if this movie broke $300 million which puts it in the top 30 of all time for US domestic releases. It currently sits at 40th on the list and I’m finding a hard time finding another movie where an Asian actor with top billing is higher than Up.
Star Trek with John Cho sits at 50th with $249 million but he’s part of an ensemble cast. For completeness, M. Night Shyamalan directed the Sixth Sense which is 30th with $293 million. It’s kinda a stretch to consider Chow Yun-Fat as a lead actor in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, but that movie grossed $309 million sitting at 26th. Rush Hour 2 with Jackie Chan sits at 65th with $226 million.
So yea…wow…congrats Jordan Nagai! You are the highest grossing Asian lead actor for the US Domestic market.
I really hope this is the start of something for him. According to this LA Times article, he has a bit with The Simpsons coming up. If you look at Alexander Gould, the then 9-year-old voice of Nemo in Finding Nemo, he had a pretty good run of guest stars on TV shows before finding a home on Showtime’s Weeds.
Funny anecdote also from the LA Times article, Jordan was just tagging along with his brother while the brother was trying to win the part that Jordan eventually got. Funny how things work out =)