GOT EM: Brangelina sure love People magazine — or at least the checks the weekly keeps writing the celebrity couple. The title has again scored the exclusive North American rights to photos of Brad Pitt’s and Angelina Jolie’s latest children — new twins Knox Léon and Vivienne Marcheline. On Tuesday night, JustJared.com reported People will publish the photos, and a source close to the deal confirmed the news Thursday night. Hello bought the international rights. People and Hello will unveil the photos on Monday, two days earlier than People’s usual newsstand drop day. The price for the photos was a reported $10 million to $15 million, which, assumably, People and Hello will split in some manner.
But what are the chances the large investment in the pictures will pay off?
This story first appeared in the August 1, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Though People likely didn’t foot the whole bill for the photos, a payment of $5 million — or half of the low end of the estimated cost — is equal to moving 1.3 million newsstand copies, providing its newsstand price remains $3.99. That’s a low hurdle for People, which averages 1.5 million copies weekly. Baby photos send even more issues off the racks — the June 19, 2006 issue with the exclusive baby pictures of Brad and Angelina’s first daughter, Shiloh, moved 2.2 million newsstand copies, or $8.8 million worth of issues — and that was just for one kid. People reportedly paid $4 million for those pictures in a deal, which was also brokered with Hello.
More recently, People sold more than 2 million copies, or $8 million worth, of its March 31 edition when it featured exclusive photographs of Jennifer Lopez’s twins, Max and Emme; the magazine reportedly also paid $4 million for those pictures. Its March 10 issue sold 1.7 million copies, or $6.8 million worth, when it featured Nicole Richie’s daughter, Harlow (the magazine is said to have paid $1 million for the snaps since Nicole is no Brad or Angelina). Sources close to the magazine said none of the dollar amounts are accurate.
But not every baby is worth its purse: People’s Feb. 25 cover with Christina Aguilera’s baby Max sold 1.4 million newsstand copies, or $5.6 million worth, photos the magazine reportedly paid $1.5 million to get. Nonetheless, according to Rapid Report, People’s newsstand sales were up 5 percent in the first half compared with the same period of 2007.
Even if it sells less than 1.3 million copies, which is unlikely, sources at competing titles said the value of having the photos goes beyond revenue to People’s bottom line. Having the exclusive photos of such coveted offspring gives People bragging rights over its competitors, and will generate priceless media coverage and publicity. “If they lose a million bucks, then [the loss] is equivalent to a million-dollar advertisement for the magazine,” said one competing editor.
— Stephanie D. Smith
AWARDING CREATIVITY: Gucci Group has unveiled the nominees for its annual cinema award and Julian Schnabel, who won last year, is on the list again. Others nominated are photographer Isaac Julien, musician Adam Yauch and artist Steve McQueen. The award will be given Sept. 1, during the international Venice Film Festival, at François Pinault’s art museum Palazzo Grassi.
Marco Müller, artistic director of the festival; Franca Sozzani, editor in chief of Vogue Italia; artist Jeff Koons and Stefano Pilati, creative director of Yves Saint Laurent, are part of the selection committee in charge of singling out an international artist and his contribution to cinema. “This award represents the constant effort of the group to promote originality and creativity in the arts,” said Robert Polet, chairman and chief executive officer of Gucci Group. This will be the third edition of the award, which was first bestowed on Nick Cave. Schnabel is nominated for directing “Lou Reed’s Berlin,” on Reed’s Brooklyn performance of his 1973 “Berlin” album two years ago, while Julien is in the running for directing “Derek,” written and narrated by Tilda Swinton, which celebrates the work of director Derek Jarman. McQueen is nominated for the direction of “Hunger,” on the last six weeks of the life of IRA member Bobby Sands, and Yauch for directing the documentary “Gunnin’ for That #1 Spot.” Muller said the committee selected “the most original international artists,” and their “creative metamorphoses.”
— Luisa Zargani
VANITY FAIR’S NEXT SUBJECT?: Could Vanity Fair be planning a look into the life of U.K. business tycoon Richard Caring? According to a report in London’s Independent earlier this week, the title has sent a journalist to London to delve into Caring’s history. Caring, who is pals with Topshop’s owner Sir Philip Green, made a splash in the U.K. press last year when he bought the late Mark Birley’s private club empire, which includes the Mayfair clubs Annabel’s, Mark’s Club, George, Harry’s Bar and the Bath & Racquets Club. At the time, sources said Caring, who built his business as a clothing supplier, paid upward of $180 million for the clubs. Caring also owns a string of famed London restaurants including The Ivy, Le Caprice and Scott’s through his company Caprice Holdings, and earlier this year he bought a majority stake in the Soho House group. However, despite his starry connections, the tycoon rarely gives interviews and, according to the Independent’s item, is reluctant to cooperate with the magazine on the story. A spokeswoman for Vanity Fair said the company does not comment on whether a story is being planned.
— Nina Jones
ROCK ’N’ ROLL WITH A FRENCH TWIST: Premium denim label Rock & Republic is rolling with Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, the daughter of French Vogue editrix Carine Roitfeld, for its new fall ad campaign.
Restoin-Roitfeld conceived the images, which will appear in September issues of W, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, GQ and Vogue and similar publications in France, England and Italy. The ads also will be plastered on billboards in New York’s SoHo neighborhood and on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip, as well as in cyberspace via Style.com.
Restoin-Roitfeld didn’t look far past her stylish family tree to cast her brother, Vladimir Roitfeld, as the edgy Rock & Republic man photographed by Mark Segal and styled by Keegan Singh. Meanwhile, Polish model Malgosia Bela is featured as a rock chick leaning against giant stereo speakers in kohl-lined eyes, black platform boots and a studded leather cuff.
This is the second ad campaign for Rock & Republic. It launched its first shot by Yu Tsai with models such as Fernanda Tavares and David Smith two years ago. Restoin-Roitfeld’s efforts come as Rock & Republic readies to open its first flagship, occupying 3,800 square feet on Los Angeles’ Robertson Boulevard in October. Shops in New York and Las Vegas are slated to open shortly thereafter.
— Khanh T.L. Tran