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Image: Cover of Us Weekly magazine
Prod  /  Us Weekly
Putting Michelle and Barack Obama on the cover of Us Weekly proved to be a gamble that's paying off handsomely for the magazine.
By The Scoop
msnbc.com
updated 6/23/2008 10:22:56 PM ET 2008-06-24T02:22:56

Putting Michele Obama on the cover of Us Weekly appears to be a gamble that’s paid off. Early sales numbers for the celeb glossy are trickling in, and according to sources that are familiar, the June 30 issue could sell more than 900,000 copies. (A spokesperson for Us declined comment, saying that whether good or bad, the magazine doesn’t comment on week-to-week sales.)

To put the numbers in perspective, sales for the prior three weeks’ covers (one featuring Heidi Montag, another with Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo and “A Bachelor’s Second Chance” featuring “Bachelor” star Andrew Firestone) averaged about 710,000 copies per week.

Us’ departure from its typical celebrity coverage was surprising, and also a bit disheartening to other magazines who might have had Michelle Obama interviews in the works. Anyone who read Us’ piece, “Why Barack Loves Her,” knows that Michelle Obama wasn’t quoted directly.

Instead, friends of Obama’s went on the record, and the magazine did get an on-the-record quote from Barack, and had quotes from Michelle from a piece Us ran earlier in the year . “Being the first celebrity magazine to put her on the cover was more important than getting her for the interview,” said an editor at another magazine. “Unfortunately, it dilutes the impact another weekly could have when they do get Michelle on the record.”

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Regardless, the bump in sales is a huge boon for Us. The celeb weekly's circulation rose 10% in the second half of 2007, as the New York Times pointed in February, but sales were not always consistent. For example, the July 2, 2007, cover that featured Jessica Simpson’s 20-pound weight loss and sold 1.4 million copies was more exception than rule. That said, the magazine’s choice to feature Obama on the cover doesn't just mean numbers on the newsstand, it means that during a time when category-wide sales are soft, stepping outside the traditional celebrity coverage can be the perfect choice.

No ‘Wanted’ press for Jolie
Thanks to the upcoming birth of Angelina Jolie’s twins, the actress will not be able to partake in the majority of the press for “Wanted,” her new film co-starring James McAvoy.

Not all is lost though. The leather jacket Jolie wore in “Wanted” will be auctioned off via Charityfolks.com beginning June 24.

Jolie is said to be about eight months pregnant, according to some insiders. This timing dovetails with the August due date that leaked during the Cannes film festival, and makes the Entertainment Tonight report, that had her giving birth May 30, seem all the more inaccurate.

Tiger Woods not too hurt for Vegas
Imagine this: You’re Tiger Woods, you just won the U.S. Open, and then you discover your ACL is torn and you have a stress fracture in your leg. What’s the first thing you do? No, not surgery, silly. You go to Vegas.

The champion golfer was spotted celebrating his major win at The Bank Nightclub at The Bellagio with several guys on June 22. “He was there with a bunch of friends, they were sipping Dom Perignon Rose,” said an onlooker. “They were all having fun.”

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