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Pizzas and Spiders and Paris, Oh My! The Enormous Expenses of “Home Alone”

December 17, 2018

2 min read

Every holiday season, millions of people settle in to watch classic Christmas movies, such as Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Die Hard (it’s a Christmas movie—fight me). But for many, one film often stands out among the rest: “Home Alone”.

“Home Alone” is the story of Kevin McCallister (played by Macaulay Culkin), who is accidentally left behind by his family as they embark on an overseas trip during the holidays. After indulging in some alone time, Kevin ultimately has to fend off the Wet Bandits—two burglars played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern—who attempt to burglarize the McCallister home and have been breaking into nearby residences.

The movie was a holiday hit, and inspired several sequels. But there are aspects of the film—financial, mostly—that have left many perplexed in the nearly 30 years since it was released.

For example, how did Kevin’s parents, Peter and Kate McCallister (a successful businessman and a fashion designer, according to the movie novelization), afford to take his whole family (around 15 people) on a holiday trip to Paris? And how much would it cost to repair all of the damage done to the McCallister home following Kevin’s booby-trapping?

Well, ya filthy animals, we’re digging up some answers.

All that pizza

Total cost: $230

At the beginning of the movie, the McCallisters order pizza–a lot of pizza—from the fictional Little Nero’s pizzeria. It’s a big family, which calls for a big order. In the movie, the cost for the pizza totals up to $122.50.

Adjusted for inflation, that’s around $230. Talk about extra cheese—that’s a lot of mozzarella.


The trip to Paris

Total cost: ~$40,000


In the movie, the McCallister clan, and some members of the extended family—a total of 15 people (by most counts)—head to Paris for Christmas. Peter and Kate likely earn a decent income, meaning that they could probably afford the trip. But how much would it actually cost?

Roundtrip airline tickets to Paris on American Airlines would cost more than $35,000 for a group that size, according to one analysis.

And that doesn’t take into account hotel rooms, meals, activities, and the foie gras (~$50 per pound) that Uncle Frank likely choked down.


Repairing the house

Total cost: $220,000


By the end of the film, the McCallister residence is a mess. The place is partially flooded, paint cans dangle from the staircase, BB guns and blowtorches lie strewn throughout the house. How much would it cost to repair and restore everything?

The actual Home Alone house, a 4,250 square-foot home in suburban Chicago, is worth nearly $2 million these days, according to estimates. It last sold for almost $1.6 million in 2012.

After all the traps were sprung, and the burglars, the Wet Bandits, were vanquished, how much would the repair bill be for the castle de McCallister?

More than $220,000, according to one calculation. Most of that has to do with repair flood damage to the kitchen and basement.

Note: This is why it’s good to have homeowners insurance.


Replacing Buzz’s tarantula

Total cost: $70


Buzz, the bully son of the McCallister household, had a pet tarantula. Naturally.

But it gets loose and is presumably lost. How much would the little demon-spawn cost to replace?

Tarantulas vary in cost, depending on the breed. But we’ll go with $70, which seems to be a rough estimate.


By Sam Becker

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