Though young people may know him best as Mickey on American Horror Story's tenth season, Macaulay Culkin rose to prominence in the 1990s as one of the greatest child stars in cinema history. The New York-born performer first appeared on screen at age four, before becoming nominated for a Golden Globe and topping VH1's 2005 list of 100 Greatest Kid-Stars. In addition to starring in movies, Culkin also appeared in music videos for artists such as Sonic Youth, the Temptations, and even Michael Jackson. Though the young actor's career may never reach the meteoric heights it did when he was a child, Macaulay Culkin will surely be remembered for his efforts in film.
3. Uncle Buck (1989)
Though Macaulay Culkin holds a handful of IMDb credits before his landmark appearance in 1989's Uncle Buck, the film served as his first leading role, bringing his trademark humor and adorable blue eyes to the forefront of cinema culture. Culkin stars in the film alongside Spaceballs' John Candy in the first of several classic collaborations. The film grossed just under $80 million at the worldwide box office against an estimated production budget of only $15 million, making the film a certified hit.
Uncle Buck centers around John Candy's Buck, who must adjust his carefree bachelor lifestyle to care for his brother's three children. With their parents gone to tend to an emergency, Buck quickly bonds with the two young kids, Maizy and Miles Russell, played by Gaby Hoffman and Macaulay Culkin. As an authority figure, Buck struggles to contend with his angst-filled teenage niece, portrayed by Jean Louisa Kelly.
2. Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992)
Though Home Alone 2 didn't exactly live up to the standard set by the first installment of the series, the film still managed to become a Christmas classic viewed by millions each year. Like the first entry in the franchise, Home Alone 2: Lost In New York centers on Macaulay Culkin's Kevin McCallister, who is lost and left without adult supervision. In this installment, Kevin must navigate the grid of Manhattan, befriend a bird-feeding wanderer, and fight off a pair of would-be criminals attempting to exact revenge for Kevin's hand in putting them in jail.
Home Alone 2 took home $359 million at the global box office, against an estimated production budget of between $20-$28 million. Though Macaulay Culkin would later go on to appear in several other films and television programs, the actor will always be best known for bringing Kevin McCallister to the big screen.
1. Home Alone
In what should come as no major surprise, Macaulay Culkin's biggest movie by just about any metric is 1990's Home Alone. The film singlehandedly launched Culkin's career into icon status while possibly inspiring children worldwide to engage in holiday-themed hijinks that may or may not maim and permanently disfigure home invaders. Home Alone made a staggering $476.7 million at the global box office, with an estimated production budget of only $18 million.
The film reunited Macaulay Culkin with Uncle Buck's John Candy, and earned the child star an American Comedy Award and a Young Artist Award. Though Culkin's brother Kieran may be dominating the cinemascope these days for landmark roles such as Roman Roy on Succession, Macaulay Culkin likely makes enough money off Home Alone each year to purchase a brand new home to be alone inside.
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