The real cost to afford the big house and a family vacation in Paris
Every year around this time, as people settle in to watch their favorite holiday movies, there’s one big question that always seems to come up without fail. Just what type of work Did Kevin McCallister’s father in “Home Alone” have to treat yourself to this sprawling house and take a family of 15 (including extended members) to Paris for the holidays?
It’s become meme fodder – and a question so analyzed that even Good Housekeeping’s Diana Bruk once posed the thought, “Was that guy in the crowd or something?”
The film is set in the former gangster mecca of Chicago, so that’s a fair question. But there is actually information about what the fictional parents (Ms. McCallister also had a job!) could have done to earn all that money legitimately.
As you might recall if you’ve ever seen the 1990 John Hughes classic starring Macaulay Culkin in his breakout role, the McCallister family lives in the affluent suburb of Windy City. The Great Clan begins the film about to take an international trip for the holidays, including Uncle Frank and his brood.
But, in a rush to get to the airport, the family accidentally leaves little Kevin (Culkin) behind, and he’s left to his own devices as would-be thieves Marv and Harry target the McCallisters’ home. Kevin defends his home with creative deceptions and tricks until the family (finally) manages to get home just in time for Christmas.
How much would the McCallister house (and vacation in Paris) cost exactly?
As for the full cost of this scenario, that’s a steep price, even at a three-decade-old valuation. According to data from Redfin, the real house where the film was shot (at 671 Lincoln Avenue in Winnetka, Illinois) sold for $875,000 in 1989. And, in 1990, 15 flights from Chicago to Paris – including 11 coaches and four first-class tickets on American Airlines (which they stole in the film) – would have cost around $35,320, according to WMUR calculations. Looking at American Airlines’ options for 2022, flying Dec. 19 and returning home Dec. 26 (Chicago to Paris) would cost around $1,967 for basic economy and $5,937 for first-class tickets. – for a total of $45,385 for the whole family.
But considering the parents’ careers, it would make sense how they could afford it all. Chron detailed that the film’s novelization, written by Todd Strasser, hints that dad Peter is a successful businessman (and possibly a day trader) and mom Kate is a fashion designer who provided all the mannequins Kevin uses in a robbery-baffling scene.
Their combined income, in the 90s, would have been around $234,000. Assuming Peter was one of the highest earners, his job would have brought in around $200,000 a year at that time, according to the Washington Post, and Kate’s job would have paid around $34,000 (using the inflation calculator WealthierToday.com to adjust from a current salary of around $77,000 as proposed by Salary.com). In 2022, Peter would likely earn around $328,000 at the top, by comparison.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: “Alone at home”: the real cost of affording a large house and family holidays in Paris