Here you will learn about how Macaulay Culkin, the little kid from ‘Home Alone’, earned a massive fortune for his net worth, various pauses he took from acting and why made the choices. Little bio/wiki about his arrest, romantic lives and other ventures (music, ads) he tried, in order to collect more wealth.
Macaulay Culkin, best known as Kevin McCallister from 1990’s Home Alone, is one of those actors that belong in a ‘Child Actors: Where Are They Now?’ column. He is now known for being the boyfriend of Disney heartthrob, Brenda Song, and also at one point, the husband of Supernatural actor, Rachel Miner.
It’s unbelievable that the straight-edged but witty kid from the adorable movie is set to hit 40. Born on August 26, 1980 [age 39], in New York City, he took to the stage at the age of just four in Off-Broadway shows. Then he worked his way up to being the only and first child to be considered for the Kevin McCallister role.
You’d think he’d remain the same. Well, he did, but he’s all grown up now.
Source: Home Alone, 20th Century Fox/MGN
He’s been a household name in terms of salary as well, being named one of the highest-paid child actors of his time, as well as of all time alongside the likes of Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato and Frankie Muniz. Despite disappearing from the movie world many times, obtaining his net worth and fortune is no easy feat.
‘Richie Rich’ Alone Got Macaulay Culkin $8 Million to Add to His Net Worth and Make Him the Highest-Paid Child Actor for a Movie at the Time
As of November 2019, Macaulay Culkin possesses a net worth of $17 million. Most of it came from his acting in the 1990s hit movies, but other ventures also supported its growth. While he might be earning decent in recent years, nothing for him will ever come close to what he earned when he was a kid (until he was a teenager). He’s had a fair share of problems in the past, but Macaulay seems to be making a comeback, especially after being Brenda Song’s 2019 boyfriend, who herself is worth $7 million.
Brenda Song and boyfriend, Macaulay Culkin, together have $24 million net worth.
Source: Hollywood To You/BackGrid
The third of seven siblings of parents Kit Culkin and Patricia Brentrup, Macaulay started off in the acting business with a number of Off-Broadway shows like New York City Ballet‘s The Nutcracker when he was just four years old. Then at five, he entered the screen with a very minor role in a 1995 episode of The Midnight Hour. His big-screen debut came in 1988 with Cy Blue Black in Rocket Gibraltar, and it was a roller-coaster ride for a while after that.
Early Salaries — ‘Home Alone’, ‘Home Alone 2: Lost in New York’, ‘Ri¢hie Ri¢h’ and Others As a Child Actor
Uncle Buck and See You in the Morning, both in 1988, got him into brighter limelight. The former movie got him $40,000, but it was just the beginning. Writer John Hughes finished writing the Home Alone script in 1990 with Culkin in mind and gave it to director Chris Columbus. While Columbus wanted someone other than him for the lead role and auditioned 200 other kids, he couldn’t find anyone better fit than Culkin for the Kevin McCallister role.
The advancement of the internet gave way for Culkin’s fame only in the 21st century, but the money was already there for him beforehand. Without needing much explaining to do (since you know how well he acted in the following movies), here are the salaries he received as a child actor.
|Movie Title||Release Year||Macaulay Culkin’s Salary||Worldwide Box Office Movie Earning|
|Uncle Buck||1988||$40,000||$79.26 million|
|Home Alone||1990||$100,000||$476.68 million|
|My Girl||1991||$1 million||$59.49 million|
|Home Alone 2: Lost in New York||1992||$4.5 million||$365 million|
|The Good Son||1993||$5 million||$60.61 million|
|Getting Even with Dad||1994||$8 million||$18.87 million|
|Ri¢hie Ri¢h||1994||$8 million||$38.09 million|
The cumulative total of those personal earnings is $23.5 million, $40 million in current money due to inflation. The last two movies gave him the highest-paid child actor’s salary for a movie of all time. He also became the first child actor to have ever received $1 million for one film (My Girl) and in a supporting role no less.
Family Disputes Over Custody of Him & His Wealth and Relationship Conflicts with Rachel Miner
Culkin’s parents were not married. After he collected the $23.5 million, they separated in 1995 and started a greedy custody battle, especially over who would handle their son’s finances and wealth. This was a reason he took a hiatus from the screen (aside from some short videos) for almost nine years (1995-2003). He reportedly said he would stop taking roles until the custody battle was settled.
There were reports the whole Culkin family could be homeless after the control of young Macaulay’s finances were taken from the parents and given to his accountant in February 1997. However, the custody battle ended later that year in April as Culkin (Sr.) conceded full custody of him and his siblings to Brentrup.
The kid wouldn’t start going for movies just yet. He studied at the School of American Ballet and went on to study at the Professional Children’s School, a private high school in Manhattan, where he met his future wife turned ex-wife, Rachel Miner. Love blossomed and they got married quite young (age 17, each) in 1998 (a better explanation of the wedding details on our Rachel Miner Net Worth page).
It was kind of a rush Culkin got married to Miner as it only lasted for four years (including the time they were separated from.
The then-husband-wife bought a $1.7 million 5200-foot loft on lower Broadway in Manhattan in November 1999 but would later separate in 2000 due to different life choices. The reason – Macaulay wanted to go back to acting, but Rachel wanted to start a family. It was also a reason he continued his hiatus from the screen. The divorce finalized in 2002, and he dropped out of high school in his senior year, as well.
Culkin defended Michael Jackson on the accusations against him.
Source: Ernie McCreight, REX/Shutterstock
In between the hiatus, he did appear in short and music videos, most notably Michael Jackson‘s HIStory video (1995) and Sonic Youth‘s Sunday music video (1998). He also befriended his daughter, Paris Jackson, as his goddaughter. They still remain in contact with each other. He also made a comeback on stage with a role in London’s West End production of Madame Melville in 2001.
Brushes with the Law and More Spaces in His Acting Credits
Culkin returned to the scene with Party Monster in 2003, about a year after he started dating Mila Kunis in 2002. He appeared in one Will & Grace episode in 2003 and did three more movies in 2004 before getting arrested for possession of several drugs and controlled substances on November 17, 2004. He was released on a $4000 bail after being jailed. He pleaded ‘not guilty’ at the trial from October 2004 to June 2005 before reversing the decision to ‘guilty’.
Culkin regretted making those decisions later on.
The guy served three one-year suspended prison sentences while being asked to pay $540 in fees. This made him stop acting for the three years between 2004 and 2007, except for the recurring voice character on Robert Chicken (as Kevin McCallister again).
He came back with one movie in 2007 before disappearing for almost two years again. He returned with the TV series, Kings‘ only season in 2009. He worked on The Wrong Ferarri in 2011, which was the only appearance of the star until 2015, by which he was already living in Paris.
On a side note, he and Mila Kunis had separated in 2010 with confirmation only made in January 2011. Kunis’s publicist confirmed the split stating, “The split was amicable, and they remain close friends.”
Then Came Along His Current Girlfriend, Brenda Song
Culkin knew he wanted to stop acting ever since those early 90s movies. Despite his retirement wish, he kept getting one role after another. But his first hiatus made him want to stay. Although, at some other point later, he wished to retire or just do some movies that he actually enjoys once a year. He doesn’t even want to look at his Home Alone movies at all, while still being thankful for the fame it got him.
The 39-year-old did retire, for a moment. The time between 2009 and 2015 (The Wrong Ferrari entirely filmed with an iPhone is something else). Then, starting 2015 with his passion for WWE with a short video documentary, Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling, he began regaining his love for acting with numerous exciting projects. He even reprised his Home Alone role on many occasions, especially for the advertisement for Google Assistant.
Watch: Macaulay Culkin Reprises His ‘Kevin’ Character with Google Assistant
2016 became a turning point in his personal life, however. He was introduced as the cast member for Seth Green‘s Changeland movie that year. So was Disney’s Brenda Song. They bonded really quick and started dating. We’ve all seen their cute photos together. The movie was released in 2019.
Culkin’s Expanded His Area to Other Ventures As Well
The actor has tried a wide variety of trades. Among the numerous short videos for various promotion campaigns, music was also one of his perks. Not appearing in videos only, doing it too. In December 2013, he was promoting his pizza-themed comedy rock band, The Pizza Underground, by parodying Andy Warhol‘s Burger King Whopper scene from Jørgen Leth‘s documentary 66 Scenes from America.
Watch: The Viral Video of Macaulay Cullin Eating a Pizza for His Band’s Promotion
He kicked off the band with a tour in January 2014 from Brooklyn. On July 10, 2016, The Pizza Underground split up. Now, he is the CEO of his digital publishing website and podcast, Bunny Ears, since January 2018. It parodies other celebrity-owned websites.
Culkin has reached out to wherever he can and is always up for promoting some kind of business by making funny videos for them. Acting also won’t stop that easily either. He can’t just up and leave it. Dating an acting-passionate person will have an effect on him as Brenda is sure to keep him in the trade. And he will love it. Despite not caring about the money, it will still pile up his net worth.
Just to let you know, the couple is not married yet. But they do seem to have moved in together.
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