We Finally Know Just How Rich the McCallisters Were in Home Alone
Okay, but why were they so reluctant to pay for the pizza?!
- The McCallister house is not only an attraction for Home Alone fans, but also the subject of much speculation as to how the family was able to afford such an expensive residence.
- According to a recent The New York Times investigation, Kevin's family was in the top 1% of the wealthiest people in the United States.
- Various theories suggest that the McCallisters may have been either businessmen or gangsters!
In just a few days, the most anticipated time of the year, Christmas, will be upon us, which means that many of our readers are already actively preparing for the holiday cheer by watching cult Christmas movies. Some prefer to spend this time watching Die Hard, others can't live without horror and suspense and are shuddering at The Thing, and others are laughing heartily as they re-watch the original Home Alone.
But whether you're watching Home Alone for the first time or the thousandth, you've probably wondered how the McCallister family could afford such a lavish brick home. A new report suggests they were more than just rich.
The Palatial House Still Occupies the Thoughts of Many
Located at 671 Lincoln Ave. in Winnetka, Illinois, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the US, the house has six bedrooms, over 4000 square feet, and generally looks like its mortgage is beyond the reach of mere mortals. Kevin's parents, on the other hand, don't look like they visit Wall Street on a regular basis. But do they?
In addition to the house and grounds, the family has lavishly decorated the house with Christmas lights, which they apparently never take down. They can also easily afford to order several giant pizzas for $122 (about $300 today) and then take an expensive trip to Paris. Not bad for such a large family!
Back to the house itself, Zillow estimates its value at an incredible $2.34 million, and Realtor.com puts it at $2.36 million, which according to their data is 285.52% more expensive than other nearby homes (although the popularity of the house after the movie's release must have had an impact here).
Only 1% of the Population Could Afford Such a House
The newest New York Times report cited estimates by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, who conducted an analysis based on household incomes in the Chicago area for 1990 and 2022. In 1990, when the movie was released, only 1% of the population could afford such a house.
That means the McCallisters would have had to have an income of at least $305,000 (about $665,000 in 2022 dollars), and if you apply Zillow's estimates, an insane $730,000!
So What Did Kevin's Parents Do for a Living?
So how could the elder McCallisters afford such a thing in 1990? One of the most obvious explanations would be the theory circulating on the Internet that Kevin's father, Peter, played by John Heard, was... a gangster. Well, that would explain everything — including why Kevin didn't call the police!
However, as the Times pointed out, this problem was solved by Todd Strasser, who was responsible for the movie's novelization. In the book, he made Peter a businessman because it was 'a safe bet.' In turn, Kate (Catherine O'Hara), the mother of the family, turned out to be a fashion designer, as there were several mannequins in the house.
Nevertheless, the main income could not come from Kevin's parents, but from his bully Uncle Frank (Gerry Bamman), as well as Uncle Rob (Ray Toler). The former avoids spending anything, including paying for pizza, and prefers to fly first class to make the most of it. He is cheap, but also shows the traits of a spoiled rich man.
Uncle Rob, on the other hand, paid for the plane tickets and has his own huge apartment in the center of Paris with a view of the Eiffel Tower, which is not something a middle-class man can afford. Who knows, maybe he was just as generous with 671 Lincoln Ave!