The price of babies is going up.
For the covers of celebrity magazines, that is. The first record breaking price was the reputed $1.5 million (£750,000) that People magazine paid for the first pictures of Christina Agullera’s baby Max.
That was back in February.
Then People, it was reported, shelled out $6 million (£3m) to Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony for the first pictures of their newborn twins Max and Emme. Those pictures are in the current issue of the magazine with the cover line Twin Bliss and , for their money’s worth, twelve more pages inside.
Now there are reports that Angelina Jolie, said to be carrying twins too, could get $10 million for her baby pictures.
“Pregnant stars are now treating this like a game” National Enquirer editor Barry Levine is quoted in the New York Post.
“It’s become big business now” he added. “The rights are bought up now even before the celeb enters the hospital.”
For some stars having a child, he suggested, is akin to getting a role in a movie.
Another magazine editor suggested “It’s at the point now where some stars might decide to have more kids just to collect the money from their photos”.
What’s driving up the price magazines are willing to pay is that, apart from the extra sales, syndication rights and re-sales overseas many magazines are getting a lot of their money back. It’s often a good investment.
The Enquirer editor recalled for the Post that back in 1989 when he was editor of The Star they bought pictures of Lisa Marie Presley’s baby for $100,000 – and at the time he thought the price was outrageous. “Now it’s chump change” he declared.
Bonnie Fuller, the Canadian journalist who is now editorial director of American Media, which publishes 16 celebrity magazines, adding to the debate, said: “If Jo Lo really did get six million, then I think Angelina can now command $8 million” She believes however the prices being paid will ultimately cap out.