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.
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.
Warner Bros’ Worst Decision Ever Is Cutting Budget On Home Alone
Warner Bros was originally attached to produce Chris Columbus’ Home 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 Hanks’ Bonfire 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.
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.
Director Reveals The Secret Ingredient of 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.