Home Alone (franchise)

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Home Alone
2015 UK DVD box set of all five films
Home Alone
Directed byChris Columbus
(Home Alone 1 & 2)
Raja Gosnell
(Home Alone 3)
Rod Daniel
(Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House)
Peter Hewitt
(Home Alone: The Holiday Heist)
Produced byJohn Hughes
(Home Alone 1, 2, & 3)
Hilton Green
(Home Alone 3)
Mitch Engel
(Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House)
Lisa Demberg, Adnan Djevic
(Home Alone: The Holiday Heist)
Written byJohn Hughes
(Home Alone 1, 2, & 3)
Debra Frank, Steve L. Hayes
(Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House)
Aaron Ginsburg, Wade McIntyre
(Home Alone: The Holiday Heist)
Hughes Entertainment
(Home Alone 1, 2, & 3)
20th Century Fox Television, Fox Television Studios
(Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House)
Fox Television Studios
(Home Alone: The Holiday Heist)
Distributed by20th Century Fox (1-3)
20th Century Fox, Disney-ABC Domestic Television (4)
ABC Family, 20th Century Fox (5)
Release date
November 16, 1990 (1)
November 20, 1992 (2)
December 12, 1997 (3)
November 3, 2002 (4)
November 25, 2012 (5)
Running time
414 minutes (all 5 films)
CountryUnited States
Budget$70 million (1–3)
Box office$914,762,040 (1–3)

Home Alone is a series of Christmas family comedy films originally created by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus (1 & 2), Raja Gosnell (3), Rod Daniel (4), and Peter Hewitt (5). The films revolve around the adventures surrounding children who find themselves alone during the holiday season and are faced with the challenge of defending their family's house or themselves from invading burglars and criminals.

Film series[edit]

Home Alone (1990)[edit]

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 to 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 en 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 burgle the house and Kevin must foil them with a collection of homemade booby traps. The film became the highest-grossing film of 1990,[1] grossing $476,684,675 worldwide.[2] Despite a lukewarm reception from critics, it was popular with audiences. It was also nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Original Score for John Williams and Best Original Song for "Somewhere in My Memory", but lost 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)[edit]

Set one year after the first film, Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) loses track of his family at the airport to which he mistakenly gets on a plane headed for New York City while the rest of the McCallisters fly to Florida. Now alone in one of the largest cities in the world, Kevin cons his way into a room at the Plaza Hotel and begins his usual antics, but when he discovers that the burglars he previously encountered are on the loose again (now called the "Sticky Bandits"), he stops them from robbing an elderly man's toy store before Christmas.

Home Alone 3 (1997)[edit]

Home Alone 3 does not center on Kevin, but instead on Alex Pruitt, a young 8-year old boy who gets infected with chickenpox but soon recovers. At the same time, four criminals working for a Hong Kong-based 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 criminals begin systematically searching every house on his street, which Alex stumbles upon while home alone. 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. It is the last film in the series to be theatrically released.

Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House (2002)[edit]

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 Wet/Sticky Bandits, Marv (played by French Stewart). Kevin's parents have separated, 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)[edit]

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.[3] The film stars Christian Martyn, Jodelle Ferland, Malcolm McDowell, Debi Mazar, and Eddie Steeples.[4] The story centers on the Baxter 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).


  • A V indicates the actor or actress lent only his or her voice for his or her film character.
  • A dark gray cell indicates the character was not in the film.
Character Films
Home Alone Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Home Alone 3 Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House Home Alone: The Holiday Heist
1990 1992 1997 2002 2012
Main and supporting characters
Kevin McCallister Macaulay Culkin Mike Weinberg
Harry Lime Joe Pesci (Mentioned only)
Marv Merchants 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
Linnie McCallister Angela Goethals Maureen Elizabeth Shay
Jeff McCallister Michael C. Maronna
Uncle Frank McCallister Gerry Bamman
Fuller McCallister Kieran Culkin
Rod McCallister Jedidiah Cohen
Leslie McCallister Terrie Snell
Tracy McCallister Senta Moses
Sondra McCallister Daiana Campeanu
Brooke McCallister Anna Slotky
Old Man Marley Roberts Blossom
Gus Polinski John Candy
Heather McCallister Kristin Minter
Mitch Murphy Jeffrey Wiseman
Mr. Hector Tim Curry
Pigeon Lady Brenda Fricker
Mr. Cedric Rob Schneider
E.F. Duncan Eddie Bracken
Alex Pruitt Alex D. Linz
Peter Beaupre Olek Krupa
Earl Unger David Thornton
Burton Jernigan Lenny von Dohlen
Alice Ribbons Rya Kihlstedt
Karen Pruitt Haviland Morris
Mrs. Hess Marian Seldes
FBI Agent Stuckey Christopher Curry
Parrot Darren T. KnaussV
Stan Pruitt Seth Smith
Molly Pruitt Scarlett Johansson
Jack Pruitt Kevin Kilner
Vera Missi Pyle
Mr. Prescott Erick Avari
Molly Barbara Babcock
Natalie Joanna Going
Finn Baxter Christian Martyn
Alexis Baxter Jodelle Ferland
Sinclair Malcolm McDowell
Jessica Debi Mazar
Mr. Hughes Eddie Steeples
Catherine Baxter Ellie Harvie
Curtis Baxter Doug Murray
Mason Peter DaCunha
Mr. Carson Edward Asner
Simon Hassler Bill Turnball
Angels with Filthy Souls/Angels with Even Filthier Souls characters
Johnny Ralph Foody
Snakes Micheal Guido
Carlotta Clare Hoak


Role Home Alone Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Home Alone 3 Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House Home Alone:
The Holiday Heist
1990 1992 1997 2002 2012
Director Chris Columbus Raja Gosnell Rod Daniel Peter Hewitt
Producer John Hughes John Hughes
Hilton Green
Mitch Engel Kim Todd
Writers John Hughes Debra Frank
Steve L. Hayes
Wade McIntyre
Aaron Ginsberg
Composer John Williams Nick Glennie-Smith Teddy Castellucci David Kitay
Editor Raja Gosnell Bruce Green
Malcolm Campbell
Michael A. Stevenson
John Coniglio
John Coniglio
Cinematographer Julio Macat Peter Benison
Production Company Hughes Entertainment Fox Television Studios

Disney-ABC Domestic Television

ABC Family (The Holiday Heist)

Distributor 20th Century Fox 20th Television Fox 21 Television Studios
Running time 102 minutes 120 minutes 102 minutes 84 minutes 90 minutes
Release date November 16, 1990 November 20, 1992 December 12, 1997 November 3, 2002 November 25, 2012

Video games[edit]

Home Alone (1991)[edit]

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, including pizza from the toilet, 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)[edit]

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 disrobing 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.[5]

Home Alone (2006)[edit]

Home Alone is an action game based on the first film.[6][7] The game was published by Blast! Entertainment Limited and released for the PlayStation 2 on December 1, 2006 in Europe.[7] The game features 10 levels, each taking place inside a house. The player chooses from one of four playable characters: Carl, Carly, Kelly or Kevin. The player's goal is to use objects to defeat burglars attempting to break into the house. The game includes a two-player option.[6]


Box office performance[edit]

Film Release date Box office revenue Box office ranking Budget Reference
United States International Worldwide All time domestic All time worldwide
Home Alone November 16, 1990 $285,761,243 $190,923,432 $476,684,675 #38
#68 $18 million [8]
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York November 20, 1992 $173,585,516 $185,409,334 $358,994,850 #137
#151 $20 million [9][10]
Home Alone 3 December 12, 1997 $30,882,515 $48,200,000 $79,082,515 #1,807 N/A $32 million [11]
Total $490,229,274 $424,532,766 $914,762,040 $70 million
List indicator(s)
  • A grey cell with N/A indicates information is Not Available.
  • (A) indicates the adjusted totals based on current ticket prices (calculated by Box Office Mojo).

Critical and public reaction[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Home Alone 65% (54 reviews)[12] 63 (9 reviews)[13] A[14]
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York 32% (30 reviews)[15] N/A A-[14]
Home Alone 3 30% (23 reviews)[16] N/A B+[14]
Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House N/A (2 reviews)[17] N/A N/A
Home Alone: The Holiday Heist N/A (1 review)[18] N/A N/A


  1. ^ Home Alone - Movie Review, retrieved February 11, 2011
  2. ^ "Home Alone (1990)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 29, 2010.
  3. ^ "ABC Family Presents 'Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas' Starting Sunday, November 18". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
  4. ^ "Watch ABC Family Shows, Movies & Full Episodes - ABCFamily.com". ABC Family. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  5. ^ "Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide". 1995.
  6. ^ a b "Home Alone". Blast! Entertainment. Archived from the original on February 13, 2007. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Home Alone (European)". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  8. ^ "Home Alone (1990)". Box Office Mojo.
  9. ^ "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)". Box Office Mojo.
  10. ^ "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Production Budget". The Numbers.
  11. ^ "Home Alone 3 (1997)". Box Office Mojo.
  12. ^ "Home Alone". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  13. ^ "Home Alone: Reviews". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
  14. ^ a b c "CinemaScore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on July 22, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  15. ^ "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  16. ^ "Home Alone 3". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  17. ^ "Home Alone 4". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  18. ^ "Home Alone: The Holiday Heist (2012)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 12, 2018.