If couples as entities were counted on our list, those of Brad and Jen would have placed second, thanks to seventh-place rankings in sales and appeal, while those of the trio — Brad, Jen and current squeeze Angelina Jolie — would have landed fourth. Faring far worse: Brad and Angie covers, of which there were nine, would have placed 26th. The couple, commonly dubbed Brangelina, had mixed results at the newsstands, earning a disappointing 44th in the cover sales category.
It took more than one good cover to land on our list. Consider Larry Birkhead, whose exclusive first photos with daughter Dannielynn in OK! magazine's April 30 issue sold 41% above average. But with poor results in the other categories — only one cover and a dismal likability score of 5 — the late Anna Nicole Smith's ex didn't fare well enough to make the final cut.
Other stars, like Reese Witherspoon and Carrie Underwood, who respectively ranked fifth and seventh on our list, were helped by adoration from fans. Though their cover appearances, all of them successful, were rare — two single covers for Witherspoon and one for Underwood — both ranked in the top five for appeal, with respective E-Poll scores of 35 and 31. To put that in perspective, the average celebrity on our list garnered a likability score of 17.
Congeniality doesn't always translate at the newsstand, however. Take Bullock. Though the chick flick star topped the list in appeal, scoring a 46 on E-Poll's likability index, her March 26 cover of People sold 13% below average, the weekly's worst-selling issue during the sixth-month period.
The biggest disappointment at the newsstand? Yep, it's Britney Spears. Ironically, she landed 18 single covers during the six-month period, which also makes her the most popular cover-subject choice. With her face on the cover, glossies collectively sold some 600,000 issues below average, placing her last among cover subjects when it comes to sales. Also working against the former pop tart: an abnormally low appeal score of 3. In fact, the only celebrity faring worse was celebutante Paris Hilton, who scored a 2.
But why the purported disinterest in the tabloid fixture? Consumers have grown tired of Spears' consistently bad behavior, says In Touch Weekly Editor In Chief Richard Spencer.
"Usually there's a roller coaster of emotions," he says. "But unfortunately for Britney, there's been no roller coaster lately — there's just been the downhill."