On this day in pop culture history: ‘Home Alone’ opened in theaters
25 years ago today, audiences first saw the beloved Christmas comedy movie “Home Alone.”
Here’s to a quarter century of kids collecting clever tips on how to outwit would-be burglars, getting spooked by evil furnaces, quoting fictional gangster movies, and (maybe) learning that family is the best gift of all.
Directed by Chris Columbus — who would go on to helm the first two “Harry Potter” films — and produced by John Hughes, “Home Alone” became the highest-grossing live action comedy in the U.S. and worldwide after its release in 1990, and it held that record until it was overtaken by “The Hangover: Part II” in 2011.
A favorite holiday movie of many, “Home Alone” has secured its place in pop culture with plenty of parodies, with this frightening personalized holiday card, a reference on “Family Guy,” four (mostly ill-advised) sequels, and a John Williams-penned song that’s become a staple of school Christmas concerts.
Other notable November 16 happenings in pop culture history:
• 1945: “The Lost Weekend” premiered in New York. It went on to win four Oscars, including Best Picture.
• 1952: In Charles Schultz’s “Peanuts” comic strip, for the first time of many, Lucy holds a football for Charlie Brown and he fails to kick it.
• 1959: The original production of “The Sound of Music” opened on Broadway.
• 1960: Clark Gable died following a severe heart attack at age 59.
• 1977: Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third King” began a limited release, before opening in more theaters the following month.
• 1981: Luke and Laura got married on “General Hospital,” and 30 million viewers tuned in. That episode remains the highest-rated hour of daytime TV ever.
• 1985: Starship’s “We Built This City” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100
• 1990: Disney’s “The Rescuers Down Under” opened in theaters
• 1996: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Christmas family comedy “Jingle All the Way” held its world premiere at the Mall of America, where parts of the movie were shot.
• 2000: “Gilmore Girls” episode “Kiss and Tell” made girls swoon and giggle when Rory and Dean had their first kiss.
• 2001: The first “Harry Potter” movie opened in U.S. and U.K. theaters
• 2005: “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” opened in theaters. It was highest grossing film in U.S. that year, beating “Star Wars: Episode III.”
Birthdays: “The Dark Knight” actress Maggie Gyllenhaal (turns 38 today), “Drop Dead Diva” actress Brooke Elliott (41), “CSI” actress Marg Helgenberger (57), “Dollhouse” actor Harry Lennix (51), “Raising Hope” actress Martha Plimpton (45), “Galaxy Quest” actress Missi Pyle (43)