Britney Spears’ second release from the hospital was a gold mine for the paparazzi.
Between tabloids, her recording career and her life in general, the revenue generated from all things Spears brought in up to $120 million in the past year. But now that she is staying home, is the business of Spears in a recession?
“Since her father has her under his control, we certainly haven’t seen the number of photos that we used to see coming in of Britney,” X-17 co-owner Brandy Navarre told “Access Hollywood.” “The subject of the photo is just not as interesting as it once was, so the prices do go down.”
X-17 saw a 10 percent increase in overall profits with the help of exclusive photos like bald Spears, which made them a half-million dollars.
Now, with the pop star’s recent cleaned-up behavior, the amount of Spears pictures are way down — from more than 1,000 a day to a couple hundred, forcing the photo agency to change focus.
“It’s a different game now,” Navarre explained. “It’s a different challenge. We’re moving on to other celebrities like Brad (Pitt) and Angelina (Jolie and) Jamie Lynn Spears. We’ve moved on to Britney’s sister.”
Needless to say, Spears has shifted in priority.
“We had as many as maybe 10 photographers chasing after her. Now we have probably three or four photographers working on her at any given time,” she said.
And Spears’ gated community is empty these days. The main road once littered with paparazzi is a much different scene now that Britney’s dad, Jamie, has taken charge.
“After he took over the conservatorship, it got really, really slow for us,” Spears’ trusted paparazzo friend Felipe said.
He was scheduled to follow Spears daily, from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m., but has since undergone a dramatic shift change.
“She’s not going out at night as much as she used to … you know I started working the daytime between 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.,” he said.
OK! magazine features editor Rob Chilton has noticed the change in his magazine’s focus, as well.
“There are fewer shots now of Britney doing crazy things,” Chilton told “Access.” “Now we’re seeing a more stable, more calm Britney so there are less shocking stories about Britney these days.”
As forUs Weekly, Spears was only on the cover once in the last six weeks, a far cry from last September through mid-February. Then, around the time of her custody battle and hospitalizations, Spears was Us Weekly’s hot topic in 23 out of 24 issues.
And with no Spears scandal to report, this week’s tabs feature Spears-free covers.
But there is proof that Spears still sells. TV Guide put “Tudors” star Jonathan Rhys Meyers on the cover of the new issue mailed to subscribers, but chose to put Spears on the cover of the issue available on newsstands in an attempt to boost sales.
“People want to read about Britney,” Chilton said. “There is still that fascination with her whether it’s good or bad.”