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The Most Expensive Magazine Covers Ever Shot

Most Expensive
The Most Expensive Magazine Covers Ever Shot

There’s nothing magazines love more than celebrities and gossip. Luckily, good news like weddings and newborn babies sell better than all the other hassle of Hollywood. Magazines are prepared to pay millions for a sneak peak at their private lives, just to live up to their promise to their readers. For celebrities, selling exclusive rights is a great way to tame the media and lose the paparazzi.

Even before giving birth, prestigious magazines are already bidding for exclusive first baby pictures. When an over-the-top wedding is in sight, they do the same. Celebrity weeklies like People and OK! jump through hoops to capture all those important life moments. Celebrities make a fortune from these deals, but most of them decide to donate all those millions to charity. Every now and then, some step out of the box, like Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, who decided to offer Vanity Fair the exclusive to their daughter Suri’s first baby photos. They simply gave away the rights for free, no tabloid price tag involved, and Vanity Fair saw a 60% boom in sales that month. Now that’s a priceless celebrity cover photo.

10. People Magazine’s Cover of Kim Kardashian’s Wedding: $1.5 million

People Magazine paid $1.5 million for the exclusive rights to Kim Kardashian‘s wedding photos from August 20, 2011. This came after the magazine previously paid a reported $300,000 for the couple’s exclusive engagement photos. Reality star Kim Kardashian and NBA star Kris Humphries tied the knot in Montecito, California in a glamorous ceremony in which she wore a custom-designed Vera Wang ball gown fit for a princess. The wedding itself is rumored to have cost a whopping $10 million, and People’s cover showing Kim all by herself sold over 1.5 million copies of the issue. Unfortunately, their marriage lasted only 72 days, and Kim is already planning her wedding with fiance Kanye West.

9. OK! Magazine’s Cover of Eva Longoria and Tony Parker’s Wedding: $2 million

Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria married Tony Parker from the San Antonio Spurs in Paris in 2007. In July, OK! published exclusive intimate photos of the fairytale wedding, which cost the magazine no less than $2 million. Back then, OK! called it the “Wedding of the Year”. Unfortunately, not all fairy tales have a happy ending, and the couple divorced in 2011. The spectacular wedding with glamorous ceremony and reception was all covered in the issue, featuring pictures from the lovely Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois Cathedral in Paris, where the traditional Roman Catholic wedding was held.

8. People Magazine’s Cover of Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon’s Secret Wedding: $2 million

Well, it’s no secret anymore, but the couple’s relationship and plans were indeed kept well hidden from the tabloids until Nick Cannon spilled the beans in May 2008, when he declared for People magazine that the two exchanged vows. The two took the plunge at Mariah‘s estate in the Bahamas in April 2008 during a picture-perfect sunset ceremony by the beach. There were a total of 300 guests and 200 security personnel. She was 38 at the time, and he was 27. People Magazine paid $2 million for the exclusive rights to the shots, and they also published an interview on how the two met and how they decided to tie the knot in a surprise wedding after only six weeks of romance.

7. OK! Magazine’s Cover of Michael Douglas and Catherina Zetra-Jones’ Wedding: $2 million

In December 2000, OK! Magazine published the exclusive photos of Hollywood couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones‘ New York City wedding. However, the rights to these shots stirred up the media for years to come. OK! Paid $2 million for a glimpse of the lavish New York Plaza Hotel wedding in November 2000, whose terrace room was turned into an indoor garden party. The couple signed an exclusive with the magazine to publish their wedding snapshots, but at the same time, Hello! Magazine published secretly snapped pictures of the wedding. In 2003, the House of Lords decided in favor of OK! Magazine, and Hello! was due to pay $4 million in damage.

6. People Magazine’s Cover of Brad and Angelina’s First Post-Adoption Photos of Pax: $2 million

The cover story of Hollywood’s most loved couple adopting a baby boy stormed the media in 2007. Angelina Jolie, aged 31 at the time, and Brad Pitt adopted a boy from an orphanage in Vietnam, which Jolie named Pax Thein Jolie, meaning “peaceful sky.” In June 2007, People Magazine had the scoop. For a price tag of $2 million, they published the exclusive photos of Angelina holding baby Pax, whose adorable face immediately broke hearts. Angelina was already raising adopted son Maddox from Cambodia, aged 4 at the time, and Zahara from Ethiopia, aged 2. The pictures were shot after the couple returned home from Vietnam with the three-year-old.

5. OK! Magazine’s Cover of Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves’ Baby: $3 million

Born in July 2008 in Santa Monica, Levi Alves McConaughey is the son of famous couple Matthew McConaughey and Brazilian swimsuit model turned handbag designer Camila Alves. In July 2008, OK! Magazine published the exclusive photos of their newborn baby, and paid $3 million for the exclusive rights. It was big news in 2008, and OK! Magazine had the scoop, with an exclusive interview with the two about their hospital experience. Matthew McConaughey was 38 at the time, and Camila was 24, and the two had been dating for two years. OK!’s exclusive cover sold over 550,000 copies of the magazine’s issue.

4. OK! Magazine’s Cover of Demi Moore’s Wedding with Ashton Kutcher: $3 million

In October 2005, OK! Magazine covered notorious Hollywood couple Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher‘s wedding. With a 15 years age difference between the two, it’s no wonder people were so curious to see how the intimate ceremony looked like. The vintage black & white photos of the couple’s Kaballah wedding earned $3 million, the price OK! paid for exclusive rights and interview. The two donated the $3 million to a charitable foundation called Habitat for Humanity and to the victims of Hurricane Katrina and Rita. Demi Moore, 42 at the time, and Ashton got married in September 2005 in Beverly Hills during a brief and traditional ceremony attended by 100 guests, an event that was kept secret until OK! published the pictures.

3. People Magazine’s Cover of Brad and Angelina’s Daughter Shiloh: $4.1 million

In June 2006, People paid $4.1 million for U.S. rights to the exclusive photos of Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, famous Hollywood couple Brad and Angelina’s daughter, born far away from home, in Namibia, Africa. The $4.1 million was donated to one of Brad and Angelina’s charitable foundations. The issue sold 2.2 million copies, becoming the highest selling since the 9/11 issue of People Magazine, which sold 4 million copies. The cover shows the couple lying on a bed with newborn daughter Shiloh, and is almost identical to one of New York Magazine’s fake shots. The photos also set a new record for People’s website traffic, which received an astounding 26.5 million page views in just one day.

2. People Magazine’s Cover of Jenifer Lopez’s Twins: $6 Million

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony‘s son Max and daughter Emme made their debut on People’s cover in March 2008. The cover reads Twin Bliss, World Exclusive, and sold between 2 and 3 million copies of this issue of People Magazine, and received another estimated over 4 million views online. The editorial features 12 pages of intimate photos of Jennifer Lopez and husband Marc Anthony at their Long Island home with their newborn twins, the singer’s first children. They were called the Six Million Babies. At the time, it was the most expensive cover photo ever shot in history, but it didn’t last long, as another one of Hollywood’s famous couples was already expecting, and People Magazine was already bidding for the exclusive shots.

1. People Magazine’s Cover of Brad and Angelina’s Twins: $14 Million

The famous shot of Hollywood’s number one couple holding their newborn twins, Vivienne and Knox Jolie-Pitt, cost People Magazine a whopping $14 million. The exclusive rights to the photos were sold for more than double the price paid for any other celebrity photo on any magazine cover. The August 2008 issue sold over 2.6 million copies, and became the number one selling cover in 2008, and the 4th selling in history. The cover introduces 19 pages of photos, a glimpse at their 3-week old twins in an exclusive story of the family at their intimate life at Chateau Miraval in Provence, France. Angelina Jolie gave birth to twins in July in Nice, France, when she was aged 33, and received $14 million for exclusive shots of her newborn, which the couple donated to a charity.

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