As WWD's recent report of the best-and-worst selling issues of 2011 proved, celebrity covers sell magazines plain and simple. But while the report is a good indication of which celebrities we can expect to see more of on covers (Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston), and which ones we probably won't (Justin Bieber, Reese Witherspoon), it doesn't necessarily paint the whole picture. Because while the glossies are printed in the United States, many have dozens of worldwide editions which frequently use reprints (both covers and content) from their North American counterpart. So are the best-selling US celebrities consistent with those who showed up most around the world?
The Kardashian appeal tends to dwindle when you take the overwhelming North American market out of the picture, so logic would indicate that cover giants Jennifer Aniston and Sarah Jessica Parker would pull out in front, right? Well, that's not always the case.
We take a look at six big titles which have editions all around the world including Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper's Bazaar, InStyle, and Marie Claire, and who showed up the most where. The results might surprise you.
Cameron Diaz's June Cosmopolitan cover was very popular worldwide for the magazine, showing up on about 70% of the magazine's editions around the world. We can see the appeal -- a sexy, bright and colorful cover is bound to catch a reader's attention. Though let's not forget this year's sleeper cover star, Mila Kunis. She was right behind Cameron thanks to reprints from her February outing for the magazine.
So much for the hard and fast celebrity rule. Straying from the norm and using less from the US glossy than usual, Elle featured Coco Rocha more than anyone else, but just barely. Notable close second placers are Gwyneth Paltrow and the lovely Daria Werbowy.
Glamour got a lot of mileage out of Kristen Stewart, re-using not only her November US photos but also her shoot from September's W. They're both Condé Nast publications, so no shady cover-stealing here.
Too close to call, Harper's Bazaar was a three-way tie. Beyonce's September cover from the UK was a big hit, and a red dress on a cover can give sales a boost. Model Lily Donaldson's January US subscriber's cover also spread like wild fire, and who can resist a baby leopard on a cover? Finally, Nicole Kidman's February US cover and editorial made the rounds. We're left a bit baffled by that one. While we love Kidman, she hasn't had the same banner year other 2011 cover stars have had.
Either InStyle international didn't know or just didn't care about the below-average performance of Gwyneth Paltrow's January issue of the US edition because she came out ahead of all other cover stars for the magazine this year.
For Marie Claire, Keira Knightley is tied with and trailed by big names Jennifer Aniston and Sarah Jessica Parker. Finally! We get to see the fruits of the labour of these two cover giants. Aniston tied for first while Parker came in a close second.