Another year, another extensive and detailed tallying of which magazines sold the most issues based on which carefully selected cover star they chose. This year, some of our favorite actresses and models helped a few publications make bank — and one very notable young singer bombed a venerated magazine like no one bombed it before.
The young singer we mentioned is none other than Canadian sensation Justin Bieber. Women’s Wear Daily reports that his February cover of Vanity Fair had the third-lowest newsstand sales (about 250,000) in the magazine’s history since 1992. (His Rolling Stone cover in March sold 5 percent less than other issues for the year on average.)
But where The Biebs failed, Sarah Jessica Parker, Heidi Klum, Jennifer Aniston and Lady Gaga succeeded big time. Parker’s January Elle, August Vogue and September Marie Claire covers were all second or third best of the year for those titles. Meanwhile Klum’s March Lucky and September Glamour covers both sold like hotcakes, too. Aniston is always an assured hit on the newsstands — her Marie Claire July cover was a hit, as was her November Elle cover.
Gaga didn’t just make hits, though — she made super hits. This may be because her 2011 covers of magazines from Vogue to Harper’s Bazaar (which sold and sold and sold and sold) featured her au naturel — or as au naturel as she gets, anyway.
And while all of that is impressive, WWD‘s analysis of the numbers reveals that there’s a new cover star who might just blow all three of those women into the dust:
Mila Kunis was the new runaway success of 2011. Kunis’ August GQ cover delivered 205,000 sales, by far its biggest hit of the year, through November. She took to W in March and delivered sales 15 percent above average for the fashion monthly. She was the February cover star of Cosmopolitan and brought in 1.7 million sales, which is nearly 10 percent better than the monthly’s average for the first half. And then she graced the cover of Elle in August in a portrait with Justin Timberlake, which brought in 250,000 sales, fourth best of the year for Elle.
Timberlake, it’s worth noting, bombed his shared W cover with Amanda Seyfried — and his fall Esquire cover, too.
And finally, this wouldn’t be an in-depth look at the numbers if we didn’t include the Kardashian machine. Kim was Glamour‘s best seller in February and Cosmo‘s best seller in August. But her recent covers, including the Glamour front she shared with sisters Khloe and Kourtney in January 2012 are seeing slower sales. Who knows. Maybe people are tired of reading about Kim’s divorce?
What were your favorite magazines of the year, and did they sell well according to the numbers. Tell us!