Home Alone (franchise)
2009 DVD box set of first four films
|Directed by||Chris Columbus
(Home Alone 1 & 2)
(Home Alone 3)
(Home Alone 4)
(Home Alone: The Holiday Heist)
|Produced by||John Hughes
(Home Alone 1, 2 & 3)
(Home Alone 4)
Lisa Demberg, Adnan Djevic
(Home Alone: The Holiday Heist)
|Written by||John Hughes
(Home Alone 1, 2 & 3)
Debra Frank, Steve L. Hayes
(Home Alone 4)
Aaron Ginsburg, Wade McIntyre
(Home Alone: The Holiday Heist)
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox (1-3)
20th Century Fox, Disney-ABC Domestic Television (4)
ABC Family, 20th Century Fox (5)
|November 16, 1990 (1)
November 20, 1992 (2)
December 12, 1997 (3)
November 3, 2002 (4)
November 25, 2012 (5)
|414 minutes (all 5 films)|
|Budget||$70 million (1–3)|
|Box office||$914,792,040 (1–3)|
Home Alone is a series of family comedy films directed by Chris Columbus (1 & 2), Raja Gosnell (3), Rod Daniel (4) and Peter Hewitt (5). The first two films, Home Alone (1990) and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), follow the adventures of a boy named Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) who, during the course of the film, gets burglars Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) arrested by using booby traps. The third film, Home Alone 3 (1997), has a similar plot but with a new protagonist, Alex Pruitt (Alex D. Linz), and more of a spy theme.
A television film, Home Alone 4, premiered on ABC on November 3, 2002. This film features some of the same characters featured in the first two films including the protagonist Kevin McCallister, but with a new cast and a storyline that does not fall into the same continuity. A second television film, Home Alone: The Holiday Heist, was premiered on ABC Family on November 25, 2012, as a part of the network's special programming block Countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas. Like Home Alone 3, the film doesn't revolve around Kevin, but ten-year-old new protagonist Finn Baxter (Christian Martyn).
- 1 Film series
- 2 Cast
- 3 Video games
- 4 Reception
- 5 References
Home Alone (1990)
Home Alone is primarily a coming-of-age story about an 8-year-old boy named Kevin McCallister. He is the youngest of five children who is frequently tormented by his older brothers and sisters. After events transpire between him and his family, he wishes he had no family when his mother is punishing him for what he feels are unjustified reasons. She warns him to be careful what he wishes for and he ignores it. He wakes up the next day, and discover he is the only one left in the house. He thinks his wish came true and that he is finally alone without his obnoxious family. In reality, he was left home by mistake. His family is in route to France for a holiday trip. While his parents realize their mistake and scramble to get back to the United States, Harry and Marv, a pair of thieves known as the "Wet Bandits", attempt to rob the house and Kevin must foil them with a collection of homemade booby traps. They get arrested at the end of the film. The film became the highest-grossing film of 1990, grossing $476,684,675 worldwide. Despite a mixed reception from critics, it was popular with audiences and has been considered a cult film ever since its release. It was also nominated for two Academy Awards; Best Original Score for John Williams and Best Original Song for "Somewhere in My Memory", music by Williams and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, losing to Dances with Wolves and Dick Tracy, respectively. Macaulay Culkin's performance garnered him a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy but lost to Gérard Depardieu for his performance in Green Card.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
After snarky youth Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) loses track of his father at the airport, he mistakenly gets on a plane headed for New York City—while the rest of the McCallisters fly to Florida. Now alone in the Big Apple, Kevin cons his way into a room at the Plaza Hotel and begins his usual antics. But when Kevin discovers that the Sticky Bandits (Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern) are on the loose, he struggles to stop them from robbing an elderly man's toy store just before Christmas.
Home Alone 3 (1997)
This film does not revolve around Kevin, but centers on Alex Pruitt, a young boy who is home alone with the chickenpox, but soon recovers. At the same time, four burglars working for a North Korean terrorist group are sent by their boss to retrieve a top-secret microchip that can act as a cloaking device for a missile. They succeed in retrieving it and hide it in a remote controlled car, but due to a luggage mix-up at the airport with the Pruitts' neighbor Mrs. Hess, the car lands in the hands of Alex, who is given the car for shoveling the snow in her driveway. The burglars begin systematically searching every house on his street. Once they realize he has the chip, they prepare to invade his house. He devises elaborate traps and bamboozles the four crooks with the help of his pet rat, his brother's pet parrot, and some intricate tripwires, all the while monitoring them with a video camera on the race car. The film was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Remake or Sequel, eventually losing the award to Speed 2: Cruise Control.
Home Alone 4 (2002)
The fourth installment was directed by Rod Daniel and premiered as a television film on ABC on November 3, 2002. This film returns to the original's main character, Kevin (played by Mike Weinberg), and one of the two Sticky Bandits, Marv (played by French Stewart). Kevin's parents have divorced, and he lives with his mother. He decides to go spend Christmas with his father and his rich girlfriend, Natalie, but finds himself having to deal with his old nemesis Marv, and his new sidekick wife, Vera (played by Missi Pyle), who replaces Harry since he and Marv put their partnership to an end. It was released to Region 1 DVD on October 20, 2003. Filming began on July 29 in Melbourne. Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House is the first film in the series that was not theatrically released.
Home Alone: The Holiday Heist (2012)
On March 15, 2012, ABC Family announced the development of the fifth installment in the Home Alone series. It premiered exclusively on ABC Family's Countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas on November 25, 2012. The film stars Christian Martyn, Jodelle Ferland, Malcolm McDowell, Debi Mazar and Eddie Steeples. The story centers on the family's relocation from California to Maine, where Finn becomes convinced that his new house is haunted. When his parents become stranded across town, Finn sets traps to catch his new home's ghosts, but instead proves troublesome for a group of three thieves (McDowell, Mazar and Steeples).
|Character||Film and Year|
|Home Alone 2:
Lost in New York
|Home Alone 3
|Home Alone 4
The Holiday Heist
|Kevin McCallister||Macaulay Culkin||Mike Weinberg|
|Harry Lyme||Joe Pesci|
|Marv Murchins||Daniel Stern||French Stewart|
|Kate McCallister||Catherine O'Hara||Clare Carey|
|Peter McCallister||John Heard||Jason Beghe|
|Buzz McCallister||Devin Ratray||Gideon Jacobs|
|Megan McCallister||Hillary Wolf||Chelsea Russo|
|Fuller McCallister||Kieran Culkin|
|Jeff McCallister||Michael C. Maronna|
|Uncle Frank McCallister||Gerry Bamman|
|Rod McCallister||Jedidiah Cohen|
|Linnie McCallister||Angela Goethals||Maureen Elizabeth Shay|
|Old Man Marley||Roberts Blossom|
|Gus Polinski||John Candy|
|Heather McCallister||Kristin Minter|
|Mitch Murphy||Jeffrey Wiseman|
|Pigeon Lady||Brenda Fricker|
|Mr. Hector||Tim Curry|
|Alex Pruitt||Alex D. Linz|
|Peter Beaupre||Olek Krupa|
|Alice Ribbons||Rya Kihlstedt|
|Burton Jernigan||Lenny von Dohlen|
|Earl Unger||David Thornton|
|Karen Pruitt||Haviland Morris|
|Jack Pruitt||Kevin Kilner|
|Stan Pruitt||Seth Smith|
|Molly Pruitt||Scarlett Johansson|
|Mrs. Hess||Marian Seldes|
|Mr. Prescott||Erick Avari|
|Finn Baxter||Christian Martyn|
|Alexis Baxter||Jodelle Ferland|
|Mr. Hughes||Eddie Steeples|
|Catherine Baxter||Ellie Harvie|
|Curtis Baxter||Doug Murray|
|Mr. Carson||Edward Asner|
|Simon Hassler||Bill Turnball|
Home Alone (1991)
Home Alone was released in 1991 on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, Sega Game Gear, Amiga, MS-DOS, Nintendo Entertainment System, and Game Boy. The purpose of the game is to escape the Wet Bandits while bringing all the McCallister's fortunes from the house down to the safe room in the basement. Once all items have been sent down the chute to the basement Kevin must make it past rats, bats, and ghosts he encounters in the basement, then fight the spider king so he can make it to the safe room to lock away all his families riches.
In the Home Alone game for the PC, the player must set up traps to hurt the Wet Bandits. In the Home Alone title for the NES, the player must avoid being caught by the Wet Bandits for 20 minutes. During this time, he can set various traps using items around the house, each with a different corresponding strength and allowing the Bandit tripping them to be knocked unconscious longer. Kevin can also hide behind certain parts of the house, but only for two consecutive turns; any other concurrent passings will result in a game over. Each version of the game is an example of the trap-em-up genre, which also includes games like Heiankyo Alien, Space Panic, and Lode Runner. The Home Alone Genesis and Game Gear titles take a different approach from the story; while the plot still revolves around Kevin’s battle with the Wet Bandits, he instead must protect several houses in his neighborhood while waiting 20 minutes for the police to arrive (40 on higher difficulties). During the game, the Wet Bandits drive around the neighborhood in their non-descript van until they decide to enter the house. Kevin can travel by sled (in a top-view format) to the various houses and do battle with the Bandits as they proceed to rob whatever house they are in (in a 2D platform/side scroller format). When this happens, Kevin must fight them off with different weapons and guns in order to fill up an empty Pain Meter; when he does so, he will have saved that particular house and cause the Bandits to retreat. During this time, however, another meter will be filled depending on how much the Bandits have stolen, and if Kevin is unsuccessful in stopping them (thereby filling that particular meter), the house will become “frozen” and he will be unable to reenter the house again. If all the houses end up frozen, the game is over. Kevin starts with a simple BB gun, but he also finds different items he can combine to make various firearms that do different effects depending on the ammunition (glue, snow, light bulbs, sound waves, coals, etc.) and gun type (rifle: flies the farthest and fastest; bazooka: flies slower and at a shorter distance; launch: fires the weapon at a small, short arc; mortar: fires the weapon at a high, but short arc.) Each gun has a specific amount of ammunition, but collecting other ammo items after the completion of certain guns will refill the ammo supply. Should Kevin enter a house before the Bandits, he can lay down several traps throughout the house (keeping with the game’s movie tie-in theme) to help increase the Pain Meter and make protecting the house easier. If any of the Bandits end up capturing Kevin, he will he strung up on a wall while they continue robbing the house, but he can fidget and drop from the wall to continue defending the house. The game starts with one difficulty level, but a harder one can be unlocked. In the hard difficulty, Kevin must wait for 40 minutes for the police to arrive and the bandits’ van will drive faster from house to house, but he will be able to create newer and more powerful guns to fight them off.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992–1993)
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York was released on the Super NES, NES, and Game Boy in 1992, and the PC, Sega Genesis, and NES in 1993. Though it is based on the film in terms of plot and additional dialogue, the game was different from the film. The NES port uses sound effects from the early 1990s Simpsons games; Bart vs. the Space Mutants for example. The Super NES version, while boasting a soundtrack with the Super NES traditionally realistic sounding instrument synth, suffered due to slightly post-8-bit graphics and sound effects, as well as a disjointed feel of incontinuity between stages.
The NES version has four different levels, the first of which is the Plaza Hotel. Kevin races through various floors and rooms collecting power-ups and avoiding the hotel staff, crazy guests and runaway vacuum cleaners and suitcases. Before he can escape, however, he has to deal with two bosses: the ever-persistent House Detective and the Master Chef. The next level takes place in Central Park, and is similar to the Plaza Hotel: Kevin collects his goodies while avoiding rats, bats and assorted thugs.
The third level takes place in Kevin's uncle's three-story Townhouse. This time Kevin has to avoid Harry and Marv, and sets up several booby-traps to keep the Sticky Bandits (Marv changes their name in the film) at bay. While doing so, Kevin must also find keys that will allow him to escape to the next floor, and ultimately the Rooftop. Once he's on the roof, Kevin escapes to the streets of New York with the Bandits hot on his tail, until he reaches the giant Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. It's here where he gets help from the Pigeon Lady to defeat Harry and Marv, have them sent back to jail, and finally reunite with his family. The game got negative reception from Electronic Gaming Monthly.
Home Alone (2006)
Home Alone was released in Europe only. The aim of the game is to go through five areas and dispose of the burglars while locking all the doors and windows to stop more getting in. The player is able to collect potatoes and use tools to close the entrances, and traps to catch the burglars. Unless the player locks all the entrances on the level, however, defeating a burglar simply means another takes his place. Home Alone '06 was released on the PlayStation 2.
Box office performance
|Film||Release date||Box office revenue||Box office ranking||Budget||Reference|
|United States||Foreign||Worldwide||All time domestic||All time worldwide|
|Home Alone||November 16, 1990||$285,761,243||$190,923,432||$476,684,675||#38
|Home Alone 2: Lost in New York||November 20, 1992||$173,585,516||$185,409,334||$358,994,850||#137
|Home Alone 3||December 12, 1997||$30,882,515||$48,200,000||$79,082,515||#1,807||$32,000,000|||
Critical and public reaction
|Home Alone||55% (42 reviews)||63 (9 reviews)||A||7.5|
|Home Alone 2: Lost in New York||24% (25 reviews)||A-||6.6|
|Home Alone 3||27% (22 reviews)||B+||4.3|
|Home Alone 4||25%||2.4|
|Home Alone: The Holiday Heist||30%||3.8|
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- "ABC Family Presents 'Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas' Starting Sunday, November 18". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
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- "Home Alone 3". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
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