Macaulay Culkin is an American-born actor best known for his roles in Home Alone, My Girl, and The Good Son. Having started his acting career in the late 1980s, Culkin has appeared in more than 45 movies and television series.
Though, it’s not just his work on camera that contributes to his success. Macaulay Culkin’s net worth is also impacted by his satirical pop culture website, his television ads, and his real estate investments. Read on to discover Culkin’s most successful projects and follow his career and his hiatuses from the beginning until now.
Macaulay Carson Culkin was born in Manhattan, New York, on August 26, 1980. His parents named him after the 19th-century British poet and Whig politician Thomas Babington Macaulay. His mother, Patricia Brentrup, was a telephone operator and his father, Christopher, was a former actor on stage. Culkin has seven siblings, two of whom – Kieran and Rory – are also actors.
Culkin’s family dealt with financial struggles when he was very young. But thankfully, his education was still a priority. He attended St. Joseph’s School of Yorkville for five years. Later, he continued his education at the Professional Children’s School.
Culkin was only four years old when he started acting. In the 1980s, he appeared in minor stage productions and TV movies like Bach Babies and The Midnight Hour.
His first movie role was in Rocket Gibraltar in 1988, where he played Cy Blue Black. A year later, he appeared in See You in the Morning and also co-starred with John Candy in Uncle Buck.
In 1990, Culkin was cast in the role of Kevin McAllister in Home Alone, which became his breakthrough role. In this film, Culkin once again worked with Uncle Buck director John Hughes and co-star John Candy.
His performance won him a Young Artist Award and an American Comedy Award. He also got a nomination for Best Actor at the Golden Globe Awards.
Macaulay Culkin’s net worth got its kickstart from Home Alone, where Culkin got a salary of $110,000. While it may not seem like a lot, Culkin was still considered a newcomer in Hollywood.
However, the movie did incredibly well at the box office, grossing more than $285 million worldwide against a budget of $18 million. So, needless to say, Culkin got a massive salary increase for his subsequent films.
As of 2022, Home Alone is still Culkin’s highest-grossing movie.
Additionally, he and Chlumsky also won the Best Kiss at the 1992 MTV Movie Awards. They were also nominated for Best On-Screen Duo.
Home Alone 2
Another sizable boost to Macaulay Culkin’s net worth in 1992 with Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. This time, Culkin was reported paid $4.5 million to reprise the role of Kevin.
The sequel surpassed the original film’s success, raking in $358 million worldwide against a budget of $28 million.
The Good Son
Culkin would take a pay cut for his next major role, that of Henry in The Good Son. Culkin starred opposite Elijah Wood in the 1993 drama. The movie grossed $60.6 million globally against a budget of $17 million, $1.5 million of which was Culkin’s salary for the project.
His performance in this thriller earned him an MTV Movie Awards nomination for Best Villain.
1994 brought a big increase to Macaulay Culkin’s net worth. He earned $16 million for doing two movies, the first one being Richie Rich. The family comedy was a bomb at the box office, only earning $38 million globally against a budget of $40 million, $8 million of which was Culkin’s salary.
Getting Even With Dad
The second film to reportedly pay Culkin $8 million that year was Getting Even with Dad, where he co-starred with Ted Danson. With a budget of $30 million, the film performed even worse than Richie Rich, only making $18.8 million worldwide.
A Break from the Big Screen
Culkin finished his high school education while on a short acting break. In 1998, he gradually came back and was featured in the Sonic Youth music video. He also had a role in the London West End play, Madame Melville.
By 2003, he was back doing movies starring in the crime drama Party Monster as Michael Alig.
2004 was a good year for Culkin. He received glowing reviews for his supporting role in the movie Saved! The film is a satirical comedy, where Culkin co-starred with Jena Malone and Mandy Moore.
Subsequent films include the dark comedy Sex and Breakfast and the experimental iPhone-shot film The Wrong Ferrari.
Contrary to some rumors that Culkin has already retired from acting, he is actually very active recently with some new projects.
In 2019, Culkin took a role in the comedy Changeland, a project by his long-time friend Seth Green.
Also adding to Macaulay Culkin’s net worth are his endeavors off-screen, including his satirical website and podcast, Bunny Ears, which is a parody of the Gwyneth Paltrow-owed Goop.
He’s also starred in a number of commercials for brands. His most notable advertisement being for Google Assistant in 2018. Culkin was reportedly paid $1 million to star in the ad.
Real estate investments also add to Macaulay Culkin’s net worth. Culkin and fiancee Brenda Song bought Kiefer Sutherland’s former Toluca Lake Estate for $8 million.
Culkin had a difficult relationship with his father, Christopher, also known as Kit Culkin. In his early career, Culkin’s funds were handled by his father, who was reportedly abusive.
His parents were never married and eventually went their separate ways when Culkin was a teenager. Culkin eventually has his parents’ names removed from his trust fund, which was worth approximately $20 million dollars.
Friendship with Michael Jackson
Soon after Home Alone was released, Culkin developed a friendship with Michael Jackson. He also appeared during Jackson’s sexual child abuse trials, consistently defending the pop star. He testified to sleeping in the same bed as Jackson. However, he noted that no molestation had taken place. He has repeatedly stated that Jackson never did anything, saying the charges were ridiculous.
Culkin is the godfather of Jackson’s three kids. He was present during the pop icon’s funeral in 2009. Additionally, Culkin was featured in the music video for Jackson’s Black or White back in 1991.
In 1998, Culkin married actress Rachel Miner. Both were only 18 years old at the time. They separated two years later and formally divorced in 2002.
In 2017, Culkin began dating actress Brenda Song. They welcomed their son, Dakota Song Culkin, in 2021. He was named after Culkin’s sister Dakota who had died in 2008 from a car accident.
After more than four years of dating, the couple announced their engagement after the birth of Dakota.
Macaulay Culkin’s Net Worth 2022
As of 2022, Macaulay Culkin’s net worth is estimated at $18 million. Most of his net worth came from his acting projects when he was a child. And while many assume he receives royalties from Home Alone, he reportedly does not.
Fans of Culkin can see him next starring opposite Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Rich Flu. Additionally, he’s in pre-production on Macaulay Culkin’s Midlife Crisis, a project that will follow Culkin as he travels the world and celebrates his 40th birthday.