How Rich Is The ‘Home Alone’ Family? Is Kevin’s Dad Maybe In Organized Crime? A New Study Tried To Find Out!

In Home Alone, the Wet (later Sticky) Bandits don’t try to rob just any house. They try to rob a glorious McMansion. It’s located on a crowded suburban street, but it can fit three kids, each of whom has their own room. Relatives can stay over, comfortably. The people who own it spend the holidays in Paris. At the same time they don’t have infinite disposable income. They can’t just throw money at the predicament they wind up in. At one point, in her mad pursuit to rescue youngest son Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), Mom (Catherine O’Hara) even has to hawk jewelry, some of which might be fake.

So how exactly rich are the McCallisters? A new New York Times study tried to find out.

The new piece crunches some numbers and even speaks to economics at the Federal Reserve, who probably have better things to do than talk about the second biggest moneymaker of 33 years ago. Here are some big takeaways:

1) That house, located in the swanky Chicago suburb of Winnetka, could only be affordable to the 1 percent, though the 1 percent isn’t as small as it sounds. The McCallisters could afford it on about a $300,000 salary in 1990, or about a $665,000 salary today. As Todd Strasser, who wrote the novelization (without that much assistance from the filmmakers), they’re “upper middle class” but not “super rich.”

2) What do Mom and Dad (John Heard) do? Unclear! Strasser had Mom work in fashion; you can see mannequins festooned in the house, which come in handy in the beloved Looney Tunes-violent climax. Dad, meanwhile, is a generic “businessman.” Perhaps he works in Chicago, maybe in the same generic firm as the dad from another John Hughes-penned movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

3) It’s worth noting that at least part of the McCallisters’ grand Parisian vacation was funded by an older, unseen brother of Dad’s, Uncle Rob. He paid for the flights, and they stay in his apartment, which has a dynamite view of the Eiffel Tower. Contrast this with Uncle Frank, who’s a cheapskate, a klepto, and kind of a jerk. (He could still be wealthy, or wealthy-ish. As NYT notes, a study showed that shoplifting was “significantly more common” among those who earn more than $70k.)

4) Does Dad actually work in organized crime? That’s one fan theory:

Under this theory, the McCallister home was specifically targeted as some sort of vendetta, and Kevin’s brutal violence against the burglars is the product of an upbringing exposed to criminal activity.

So there you have it, sort of! The McCallisters are rich but they could be richer. Maybe they’re even crooks, but that doesn’t seem right. The Bandits (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) seem like low-level crooks, albeit ones that are slightly on top of things, and not dumb enough to mess with anyone connected to the mob.

On a related note, please enjoy Gene Siskel almost losing his mind when Roger Ebert argues that the Culkin-less Home Alone 3 is the best of the trilogy.

(Via NYT)