The Grinch May Pass Up Home Alone As The Biggest Christmas Movie

Macaulay Culkin Kevin McCallister Home Alone
(Image credit: (20th Century Fox))

When it comes to Christmas movies, there are few home entertainment staples during the holiday season like Home Alone. The 1990 film, which stars Macaulay Culkin as the mischievous Kevin McCallister who gets left behind by his family as they go on vacation and ends up outsmarting a couple of burglars, is a classic.

Home Alone has also held as the highest grossing Christmas movie of all time for almost 20 years. With the continuing box office success of Illumination's The Grinch, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, this year, though, he could prove to be a mean one who could very well steal Home Alone's top ranking from under its feet, per Box Office Mojo numbers. (Cue Kevin's surprised face.)

During its opening weekend, The Grinch surpassed expectations with an impressive $66 million weekend in early November, and since has earned $261 million domestically and $430 million worldwide. This threatens Home Alone's $285 million domestic earnings and $475 million worldwide. Get your crayons ready Kevin, Home Alone might need a battle plan.

Working in favor of Home Alone is the fact that the holiday season is soon seeing itself out, and other big releases such as Aquaman, Mary Poppins and Bumblebee have been released, so The Grinch's earnings will lose momentum at the box office in the coming weeks.

However, The Grinch just opened in large foreign markets such as China a couple of weeks ago, so the family film could still make history. The holiday flick would have to make over $24 million more domestically to break Home Alone's big Christmas record, which just might not happen as we roll into the new year... but, who knows, maybe the green baddie's earnings can grow like his heart does.

Illumination's take on the classic Dr. Seuss character has already surpassed Jim Carrey's How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which previously held the No. 2 spot for big Christmas movies. The 2000 film made $260 million at the domestic box office and $345 million worldwide, the key differences being that Carrey's Grinch opened one week later than this year's and made $10 million less on opening weekend.

In Home Alone's heyday it was actually the highest grossing film of the year, over Ghost, Dances with Wolves and Pretty Woman. It received much-higher acclaim when it was released and was even nominated for two Oscars for John Williams' score. The Grinch is currently the sixth highest grossing film of 2018, behind superhero blockbusters and the Jurassic World sequel, and has been received with mixed-to-positive reviews by critics. It's not Illumination's biggest hit by far, with The Secret Life of Pets, the two Despicable Me sequels, the Minions spinoff and Sing above it.

Whether it surpasses Home Alone, the animated retelling of Dr. Seuss' mean greenie is making good money and was clearly in demand over the holiday season. It's one of those timeless stories that just can't go wrong, and it's sure to be a classic for a new generation.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.