When I think of Christmas movies, Home Alone is never my first thought. This is nothing against Home Alone as the movies I think of first are going to be childhood favourites and I was too young when Home Alone came out.
Home Alone isn’t even the highest rated Christmas movie on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). From what I can tell, It’s a Wonderful Life is the highest rated with an 8.6! As people know however, ratings rarely give an understanding of how successful a movie truly is.
So how was Home Alone a success? It was mostly because of money.
It was definitely a success for Macaulay Culkin.
It was #1 at the box office for its first 12 weeks, a feat that only 4 movies have beaten (only taking into consideration movies since 1980). It pulled in over 285 million dollars, staying in theatres for 32 weeks.
For comparison, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, which is rated higher than Home Alone on IMDB, was #1 for only 6 straight weeks, made approximately 32 million dollars less than Home Alone, but stayed in theatres for 10 weeks longer.
Home Alone is listed on Box Office Mojo as the Highest Lifetime Domestic Gross (US) of any Christmas movie. The next closest movie was How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) which had a budget of 123 million compared to Home Alone’s budget of only 18 million. It was also the highest grossing movie of 1990 beating out the second runner up, Dances with Wolves, by over 100 million!
To date, Home Alone has spawned 4 sequels (2 of which are TV movies), 3 video games, 2 books and even created a toy based off of Home Alone 2; the Talkboy!
Perfect for me to record my chipmunk songs!
Home Alone was nominated for 2 Academy Awards; one for Best Music, Original Score and one for Best Music, Original Song. Macaulay Culkin was also nominated for a Golden Globe; the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical. This nomination added Culkin to the list of the youngest performers to be nominated for a Golden Globe since he was only 11 at the time the movie was widely released.
Lastly, while it may not be the highest rated or my favourite Christmas movie, Home Alone is generally well liked and a true staple around Christmas-time. Even though most people, like me, will remember it for its 15 minutes of shenanigans with the burglars, I believe it sends a good message about the importance of family.
And the importance of batteries in alarm clocks!