RSS
The cutthroat business of celebrity baby photos: By the numbers
Jessica Simpson's new baby girl could bring her parents a hefty payday. Here's a look at the crazy amounts magazines shell out for photos of A-list infants
Experts predict that Jessica Simpson could fetch $750,000 for shots of her first baby, a far cry from the "Brangelina" twins' haul of $14 million back in 2008.
Experts predict that Jessica Simpson could fetch $750,000 for shots of her first baby, a far cry from the "Brangelina" twins' haul of $14 million back in 2008.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
T

he long wait is over for celebrity-baby fanatics: Jessica Simpson's daughter, Maxwell Drew Johnson, was born on Tuesday, and, if tabloid history is any guide, it won't be long until some lucky, free-spending magazine wins a bidding war to publish Maxwell's photo on its cover. How much will the snapshots be worth? Here, a by-the-numbers guide to Simpson's looming payday and the big business of baby's first magazine cover:

$14 million
Amount People and Britain's Hello! magazine paid for the exclusive U.S. and international rights, respectively, to the first photos of the Brangelina twins, Knox and Vivienne, in 2008. That still stands as the record price tag for celebrity baby pics. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt donated $11 million of it to charity.

$750,000
Amount Simpson's management team already tried — but failed — to get for confirmation of her pregnancy, plus first baby photos. Although Simpson could still get that figure, the days of $14 million payouts for baby photos alone have past, celeb expert Cooper Lawrence tells E! Online. "That ship has sailed."

$14 million
Total haul Simpson could take home if she "plays her cards right," according to Fox News' Jo Piazza. How? She could pull in up to $5 million more a year by extending her Jessica Simpson Collection fashion line to include baby products and maternity wear. A TV show featuring Simpson, fiance Eric Johnson, and baby Maxwell could bring in $5 million more, and tweets plugging baby products could net Simpson $5,000 a shot, Piazza says.

2.8 million
Copies sold of the People issue featuring the Brangelina twins on its cover

2.7 million
Copies sold of the 2010 People issue featuring Sandra Bullock and her newly adopted son, Louis, on the cover. That issue was especially hot as it appeared shortly after Bullock's split with husband Jesse James.

2.2 million
Copies sold of the 2006 People issue featuring Pitt and Jolie's first daughter, Shiloh, on the cover

45
Percent jump in sales for the Shiloh cover compared to the average issue of People

$4.1 million
Amount People reportedly paid Jolie and Pitt for exclusive photos of Shiloh. The couple also donated that fee to charity.

4.1 million
Copies sold of People's Sept 11, 2001, issue, the magazine's best-selling magazine cover ever

$0
What Vanity Fair paid in 2006 for the first shots of Suri Cruise, daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

60
Percent jump in sales for Vanity Fair's Suri cover over the average 2006 issue

$2 million
Amount Britain's OK! Magazine reportedly paid in 2007 for photos of the late Anna Nicole Smith's baby, Dannielynn, pictured with the baby's father Larry Birkhead

41
Percent jump in sales of OK!, thanks to that cover

$6 million
Payment People reportedly made to Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony in 2008 for first dibs on pics of their infant twins, Max and Emme

$500,000
Amount People paid Britney Spears and Kevin Federline in 2005 for shots of them with their baby, Sean Preston. They reportedly donated the money to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Sources: Ad Age, E!Forbes, Huffington Post, International Business Times, Popeater, World Records Academy

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week