Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Best- and Worst-Sellers (1) At "Esquire" And "GQ," It's Where The Girls Are--And The Men Aren't.

Best- and Worst-Sellers (1) At "Esquire" And "GQ," It's Where The Girls Are--And The Men Aren't.
MIN - Media Industry News
We would doubt that Esquire editor-in-chief (since June 1997) David Granger and his Gentlemen's Quarterly counterpart (since June 2003) Jim Nelson were surprised by last year's newsstand results, where attraction to beautiful women continued a male homo sapien tradition dating back to the Garden of Eden. Angelina Jolie (July 2007) was the "woman Esquire loved" and Esquire readers love, as proven by her being the Hearst monthly's best-seller. (November 2007 Sexiest Woman Alive Charlize Theron doubtlessly sold very well, too.) And, at GQ, readers "took a close look" at best-seller Jessica Biel (July), who was Esquire's 2005 Sexiest..., and runner-up Jessica Alba (June).
Showcasing beauteous and smart women is great p.r. for both magazines. That sexagenarian Robert DeNiro sold worst for GQ (January) and unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards was Esquire's poorest (August) is not bad p.r. As respected and honored as DeNiro is, he is old for GQ's circa 30-year-old audience, and Edwards not getting the "votes" of Esquire buyers was subsequently reflected in the early-2008 primaries, which resulted in his dropping out.
"W's" Beckham/Posh "Corner Kick," But Ugly Betty Gets Low Ratings.
That David Beckham and wife Victoria ("Posh Spice") wowed W newsstand buyers last August was the result of perfect timing by editorial director Patrick McCarthy, because the cover broke just as "Becks" was making his U.S. soccer debut with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Five years ago, Posh was the better known of the two--as proved by Beckham being Men's Journal's worst-selling cover in 2003--because the British "music invasion" was and is far more successful than that of soccer.
America Ferrara is, per the May W cover line, Hot because of the success of Ugly Betty. But the series name is a newsstand turnoff, as shown here and in Entertainment Weekly's March 16, 2007 worst-seller (min, March 10, 2008). There, Ferrara was in character, and though beautiful (her real character) in W, perhaps it will be difficult for her to shake the UB typecast. Her new bilingual movie, Under the Same Moon, may shake things up for the better.
"National Geographic's" Maya And Its Not-So-Thundering Herd.
All of the globalization notwithstanding, Americans have looked more inward sincethe end of the Cold War. We may not know that the president of Mexico is Felipe Calderon, but thanks to NG, we know that now there is a fascination with the Maya, the civilization in Mexico/Central America that was enlightened as the Ancient Greeks until it was nearly eradicated by Spanish conquest and disease (mainly smallpox) in the 1500s. August issue is part of the Chris Johns-edited NG's 2008 National Magazine Award large-circulation (2 million-plus) General Excellence nomination (go to MINONLINE.COM) in advance of the May 1 presentation. If so, NG, would repeat from 2007.
Elephants are popular, as the Horton Hears a Who success can attest, so it was a mild surprise that the March NG's Defending a Forgotten Herd sold worst. Perhaps Forgotten was the turnoff, because most of us have an affinity for elephants, be it Horton or seeing pachyderms in the circus or the zoo.
"Vanity Fair's" Africa Is King, But Dreamgirls Got A Newsstand Thumbs Down.
When and if Graydon Carter pens an autobiography about his spectacular career, the VF editor-in-chief (since August 1992) could justifiably call the Bono-guest-edited July 2007 Africa issue his finest moment at the magazine. Yes, being the first to showcase the newborn Suri Cruise (October 2006), the post-Brad Pitt Jennifer Aniston (October 2005), Watergate Deep Throat Mark Felt (July 2005), and all of the Hollywood issue covers were great triumphs, but they were expected to sell well. Africa, on the other hand, with the AIDS epidemic and the Darfur massacre dominating the news, is far from sexy. But Carter and his staff made it so by commissioning Annie Leibovitz to shoot 20 covers (including Barack Obama and Muhammad Ali shown here) and showing all aspects of what used to the "dark continent." Result was that Africa outsold Hollywood (March 2007) to be VF's best-seller.
That Dreamgirls was VF's 2007 worst-seller could be blamed on J-A-N-U-A-R-Y, because the movie musical was a hit and Jennifer Hudson (not on the Beyoncé/Eddie Murphy/Jamie Foxx cover) won the 2006 Best Supporting Actress Academy Award. The holiday season typically depresses VF sales: January 2006's Naomi Watts (King Kong) was worst, and we shall see how the more formidable Katherine Heigl (Grey's Anatomy/Knocked Up, etc.) fares this year.

No comments: