Home Alone (franchise)

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Home Alone (franchise)

The original Home Alone movie poster.
Directed byChristopher Columbus
(Home Alone 1 & 2)
Raja Gosnell
(Home Alone 3)
Rod Daniel
(Home Alone 4)
Produced byJohn Hughes
Written byJohn Hughes
(Home Alone 1, 2 & 3)
Mitch Engel
(Home Alone 4)
StarringHome Alone 1 & 2:
Macaulay Culkin
Joe Pesci
Daniel Stern
Catherine O'Hara
John Heard
Home Alone 3:
Alex D. Linz
Olek Krupa
Home Alone 4:
Mike Weinberg
French Stewart
Home Alone 5:
Malcolm McDowell
Debi Mazar
Edward Asner
Eddie Steeples
Christian Martyn
Music byJohn Williams
(Home Alone 1 & 2)
Nick Glennie-Smith
(Home Alone 3)
Teddy Castellucci
(Home Alone 4)
Release date(s)November 16, 1990 (1)
November 20, 1992 (2)
December 12, 1997 (3)
November 3, 2002 (4)
December 15, 2012 (5)
Running time414 minutes (all 5 films)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$70,000,000 (1–3)
Box office$914,792,040 (1–3)
 
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Home Alone (franchise)

The original Home Alone movie poster.
Directed byChristopher Columbus
(Home Alone 1 & 2)
Raja Gosnell
(Home Alone 3)
Rod Daniel
(Home Alone 4)
Produced byJohn Hughes
Written byJohn Hughes
(Home Alone 1, 2 & 3)
Mitch Engel
(Home Alone 4)
StarringHome Alone 1 & 2:
Macaulay Culkin
Joe Pesci
Daniel Stern
Catherine O'Hara
John Heard
Home Alone 3:
Alex D. Linz
Olek Krupa
Home Alone 4:
Mike Weinberg
French Stewart
Home Alone 5:
Malcolm McDowell
Debi Mazar
Edward Asner
Eddie Steeples
Christian Martyn
Music byJohn Williams
(Home Alone 1 & 2)
Nick Glennie-Smith
(Home Alone 3)
Teddy Castellucci
(Home Alone 4)
Release date(s)November 16, 1990 (1)
November 20, 1992 (2)
December 12, 1997 (3)
November 3, 2002 (4)
December 15, 2012 (5)
Running time414 minutes (all 5 films)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$70,000,000 (1–3)
Box office$914,792,040 (1–3)

Home Alone is a series of five films. The first two were based on 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. However in Home Alone 4, the antagonists for Kevin are Marv (now played by French Stewart), his wife Vera (Missi Pyle), and later his mother Molly (Barbara Babcock), revealed later in the film. The third film has a similar plot but with a new protagonist, Alex Pruitt (Alex D. Linz), and more of a spy theme. The first two films were directed by Chris Columbus, the third film was directed by Raja Gosnell (who was the editor of the first two films), the fourth film was directed by Rod Daniel.

The first two films had Kevin getting separated from his family and trying to get two robbers, Harry and Marv, arrested, whom he bumps into at the climax of the films. The first film became the highest grossing film of 1990,[1] grossing $476,684,675 worldwide.[2] The film made a major star of Macaulay Culkin. In Home Alone, Kevin is 8 years old and in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, although Kevin claims to be 10 he might actually be 9 as the two films are set only a year apart.

Home Alone 3 was released on December 12, 1997. It originally was about to have Kevin return as a teenager, but Macaulay Culkin dropped out of child acting in 1994, so it was changed to a whole different family and robbers. The film was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award. Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House, a television film, brought back Kevin but the cast was changed. Much of the cast bear no resemblances to the originals, and the plot does not maintain continuity with Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

A fifth installment, Home Alone: The Holiday Heist, is currently in post-production and will premiere on ABC Family on November 22, 2012 (Thanksgiving), apart of the network's special programming block Countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas.[3]

Contents

Films

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 and is frequently bullied 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. 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 who are called the "Wet Bandits", attempt to rob the house and Kevin is forced to hold them back with a collection of homemade booby traps. They get arrested at the end of the film. It was directed by Chris Columbus.

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

Two years later, Kevin and his family are taking another Christmas trip, this time to Florida. During the chaos at the airport, he gets separated from them and accidentally gets on a plane to New York City. After enjoying himself there for awhile, he runs into Harry and Marv who now call themselves the 'Sticky Bandits', have escaped from prison during a riot and also fled to New York. This time he leads them to a relative's house, which is being renovated, and once again foils them with his booby traps, before they finally get arrested by NYPD.

Home Alone 3 (1997)

The film does not revolve around Kevin, but centers on Alex Pruitt, a young boy who is home alone with the chickenpox, but gets better. At this time, four burglars working for a North Korean terrorist group are sent by their boss to obtain 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 on her driveway. The burglars begin systematically searching every house on his street. Once they figure out that he has the chip, they prepare to invade his house. He devises elaborate traps and bamboozles the 4 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.

Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House (2002)

The fourth installment was directed by Rod Daniel and premiered as a television film on ABC on November 3, 2002. The 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 takes the place of 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 is the first film in the series that was not released in theaters. This film was universally panned by critics and fans alike for not including the charm of the first two films and has been argued to be worst movie in the Home Alone series.

Home Alone 5: The Holiday Heist (2012)

On March 15, 2012, ABC Family announced the development of the fifth installment in the Home Alone franchise. It will premiere exclusively on ABC Family's Countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas on November 22, 2012 (Thanksgiving).[3] The film stars Malcolm McDowell, Debi Mazar, Edward Asner, Eddie Steeples, and Christian Martyn.[4] Like Home Alone 3, the film will not revolve around Kevin, but eight-year-old new main character Finn Baxter (Martin). The story will center 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 prove troublesome for a group of thieves (McDowell, Mazar and Steeples).

Franchise

Character and Actor/ActressFilm and Year
Home Alone (1990)Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)Home Alone 3 (1997)Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House (2002)
Kevin McCallisterMacaulay CulkinMike Weinberg
Kate McCallisterCatherine O'HaraClare Carey
Peter MccallisterJohn HeardJason Beghe
Buzz McCallisterDevin RatrayGideon Jacobs
Megan McCallisterHillary WolfChelsea Russo
Marv MerchantsDaniel SternFrench Stewart
Linnie McCallisterAngela GoethalsMaureen Elizabeth Shay
Jeff McCallisterMichael C. Maronna
Frank McCallisterGerry Bamman
Harry LymeJoe Pesci
Old Man MarleyRoberts Blossom
Gus PolinskiJohn Candy
Mr. HectorTim Curry
The Pigeon LadyBrenda Fricker
Alex PruittAlex D. Linz
Peter BeaupreOlek Krupa
Alice RibbonsRya Kihlstedt
Burton JerniganLenny von Dohlen
Earl UngerDavid Thornton
Mrs. HessMarian Seldes
Vera MerchantsMissy Pyle
NatalieJoanna Going
Mr. PrescottErick Avari
Molly MerchantsBarbara Babcock

Video games

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 reciption from Electronic Gaming Monthly.[5]

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.

Gross revenues

FilmRelease dateBox office revenueBox office rankingBudgetReference
United StatesForeignWorldwideAll time domesticAll time worldwide
Home AloneNovember 16, 1990$285,761,243$190,923,432$476,684,675#38
#36(A)
#68$18,000,000[6]
Home Alone 2: Lost in New YorkNovember 20, 1992$173,585,516$185,409,334$358,994,850#137
#138(A)
#151$20,000,000[7][8]
Home Alone 3December 12, 1997$30,882,515$48,200,000$79,082,515#1,807$32,000,000[9]
Total$490,229,274$424,532,766$914,762,040$70,000,000
List indicator(s)
  • (A) indicates the adjusted totals based on current ticket prices (calculated by Box Office Mojo).

References