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Jennifer Lopez might have to start looking for a new label if she wants to make another original record. A source close to Epic Records and Epic’s parent company, Sony BMG, says that the label is fed up not only with J.Lo’s paltry album sales, but with the amount of money it’s costing to promote the diva.
“She costs too much money and doesn’t sell enough,” says the source, who is familiar with the issue. “Her last album cover alone cost $60,000 in hair and makeup, lighting, photographers, re-touching, etc. The video budget was in the neighborhood of $300,000.”
And that’s just what it costs to get the album out the door. Lopez performed on “Good Morning America” earlier this month, and all the costs were absorbed by the label. “Epic had to eat the cost for that entire performance. From her makeup — which typically costs in the neighborhood of $8,000 per day — to the backup singers, to the rigging, lighting and sound,” says a source close to the Lopez camp. “The woman requires everything short of flying monkeys to get on a stage.”
Lopez also appeared on “Dancing With the Stars,” and a source who is familiar with the standard costs of performing on the ABC hit estimates that it cost Lopez and her label at least $60,000.
Lopez has been promoting “Brave,” her first studio album to not debut in the top 10 on Billboard’s charts. “Brave” was released Oct. 9 and sold only 53,000 copies in its first week. The record label makes an average of $4 per CD, according to most estimates. Any way you do the math, the label is not coming close to breaking even on Lopez.
“Sony and Epic might keep her,” a source who is familiar with the situation says, “but she’ll be doing little more than greatest hits albums. That you can do without incurring a huge cost. The label is tired of throwing money away.”
Reps for Epic say Lopez has not angered them. “We love Jennifer at Epic,” a spokesperson said.
Kelly Osbourne heading to Broadway
Kelly Osbourne might have finally stepped out of her family’s shadow. Kelly, the daughter of rocker Ozzy Osbourne, has been playing the role of Mama Morton in the London production of “Chicago.” A source close to the Broadway production says that Kelly has been doing so well since her Sept. 10 debut that they’re hoping she’ll reprise her role in New York.
One person who might not be so happy? Ashlee Simpson, who played Roxie Hart in the West End’s production last fall. “Ashlee is livid about it, as she was told no for Broadway after her London run. They test out leads in London away from the New York City press,” the source said. “Kelly is amazing. Ashlee was, at best, keeping the curtain up.”
And in case you missed it ...
Make room in your DVR, your favorite ogre is back for the holiday season. ABC announced that “Shrek the Halls,” a half-hour holiday program, will air in November and will star many of the films’ regulars, including Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas and Cameron Diaz.
The three boys who star in the much-anticipated film version of Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner” have been moved to Dubai from their native Afghanistan in anticipation of the film’s release. Safety concerns arose because there is a rape scene involving one of the boys in the film. The film’s distributor, Paramount Vantage, has taken the precaution to ensure that the boys and their families don’t face any threats as a result.
Did you hear? “Angels & Demons,” the prequel to “The Da Vinci Code,” is a go. Tom Hanks is reprising his role as Robert Langdon, and Ron Howard is directing again. Sony Pictures has set a February start date for production, and the film should hit theaters in December 2008.
Courtney Hazlett delivers The Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com.