Home Alone: How WB Lost Nearly $500M to Save a Paltry $5M Budget That Studio Is Going to Regret Till The End of Time

Warner Bros' biggest regret up to this day is letting Home Alone slide to another studio.

Home Alone: How WB Lost Nearly $500M to Save a Paltry $5M Budget That Studio Is Going to Regret Till The End of Time


  • Warner Bros cut back expenses by not funding Chris Columbus' Home Alone.
  • The director went over to 20th Century Fox where the movie became a massive hit.
  • WB chose to release Bonfire of the Vanities which tanked at the box office.
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Home Alone is a staple Christmas film that generations of fans loved, though despite its popularity and success, it had a rough start as the team could not get a proper fund. The 20th Century Fox basked in the film’s glory and money, which should have been Warner Bros’ profit.

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Home Alone
Home Alone

There are a lot of scenarios where studios make decisions they would eventually regret in the end, especially when they see the project they passed over become a box office hit. That is exactly what happened to Macaulay Culkin’s Home Alone.


ALSO READ: Best Christmas Movie Of All Time List: Bruce Willis’ Die Hard And Johnny Depp’s Edward Scissorhands Are Not Even In The Top 10

Warner Bros’ Worst Decision Ever Is Cutting Budget On Home Alone

Warner Bros was originally attached to produce Chris ColumbusHome Alone in 1990. The director requested $17 million to create the movie, but the studio negotiated that they could only provide no more than $14 million. Originally, the fund was just around $13 million.


Columbus would not give up on the project, so he and his team sought 20th Century Fox and convinced them to finance the movie. They accepted it and ended up giving $18 million. The decision turned out to be the wisest as Home Alone grossed over $476 million, one of the most successful films of that year.

Warner Bros, on the other hand, released Tom HanksBonfire of the Vanities, which heavily tanked at the box office. It only earned a measly $15 million against a budget of $47 million, a huge loss for the company, and not a great Christmas time for the entire team.


ALSO READ: Macaulay Culkin Had a Very Depressing Reason for Leaving Home Alone 3

bonfire of the vanities
Bonfire of the Vanities

Hanks reflected on his work as Sherman McCoy in Bonfire of the Vanities and admitted he was the wrong person for the role. Aside from that, there were a lot of things that went amiss in the movie. He explained via The Blast:


When we were making it, that movie was huge. We couldn’t make a move anywhere in New York City. Everybody was talking about it. Everybody was miscast, me particularly. Brian De Palma deals with iconography more than filmmaking. He is the most uncompromising filmmaker — both in a good way and a bad way — that you’ll ever come across. This is the guy who made Scarface. So his take on it was just one of those things.”

Tom Wolfe’s novel of the same title was a celebrated work that had a huge impact on cultural society, and for a book with a tremendous overnight success, a film adaptation would be very controversial especially if not done right.

ALSO READ: “The choice I had to make…”: Steven Spielberg Was ‘Torn in Half’ After Rejecting Harry Potter for Something Far More Important


Director Reveals The Secret Ingredient of Home Alone

home alone-2
Home Alone

Chris Columbus looked back on why Home Alone remains a timeless piece and explained why fans of all generations have a soft spot for it via his interview with Insider:

I feel it’s because it has an emotional connection with people. Sure, people love to laugh, and it’s fun, but it’s centered on a specific time of the year when people are hopeful and happy. I think it’s the perfect movie for people to sit around the living room with your entire family and watch it.”

The director’s persistence to create and release Home Alone is definitely one of the best decisions he has made in his career. The holiday season must be haunting Warner Bros for their wrong move from more than 30 years ago.



Written by Ariane Cruz

Ariane Cruz, Senior Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.