There are plenty of reasons to feel sorry for Britney Spears, but the troubled pop star's financial situation isn't one of them. Worth an estimated $125 million, the sometime singer reportedly still earns around $737,000 a month, which, you can assume, is not for what passes for her "job" these days: getting in and out of her car, shopping, eating at restaurants and missing court dates.
But even though she isn't making any money touring — and she's not likely raking in much dough from the bombing Blackout — Spears isn't the only one making millions off her shenanigans. Portfolio magazine has published an account of who is banking off Brit, ranging from her label to the ever-present paparazzi, ex-husband Kevin Federline, celebrity magazines and the companies that license the singer's name.
Among those cashing in, according to the magazine:
» Jive Records, which has brought in more than $400 million thanks to the 83 million albums the singer has sold.
» Tour promoters and venues — Her tours have grossed $150 million, with the average take for her 265 solo shows at $583,138 each.
» Pure Nightclub — The Las Vegas hotspot reportedly sold seats at a table next to Britney's for $50,000 at a recent party. Portfolio says Spears still pulls down between $250,000 and $400,000 just for showing up at events.
» Perfume maker Elizabeth Arden — The company has sold nearly $100 million worth of the Spears scents Believe, Curious and Fantasy.
» The paparazzi — Photos of Britney can bring in anywhere from $250 for a basic going-to-get-a-cup-of-coffee shot to $100,000 or more for an exclusive. Photo agency X17, which has a team that trails the singer everywhere she goes 24/7, estimates that Britney accounts for 30 percent of its revenue. In 2007 alone, X17 sold $2.5 million worth of Britney photos, including $500,000 for its exclusive pics of the singer's head-shaving incident. Britney accounts for 10-15 percent of business for competitor Splash News, which brought in $200,000 for photos of Britney in a hot tub. At this point, the magazine estimates, Britney alone accounts for 20 percent of all paparazzi business.
» Celebrity magazines — Between January 2006 and July 2007, Portfolio reports that Britney was a cover subject of People, Us Weekly, In Touch, Life & Style, OK! and Star a total of 175 times in just 78 weeks, accounting for sales of $360 million. A celebrity tabloid with Spears on the cover sells an average of 1.28 million newsstand copies, which is almost 33 percent more than the non-Spears issue.
» Yahoo! — She's topped the annual Yahoo search rankings in six of the past seven years, dropping to #2 in 2004 when fellow tabloid staple Paris Hilton briefly stole her thunder. Searches for Britney were up 60 percent in 2007, the year of her divorce, shaved head and car wreck.
» Kevin Federline — Though his solo album flopped hard, K-Fed can still pull down almost $30,000 for nightclub appearances, thanks to the Britney connection, which nicely compliments the $35,000 a month he gets from his ex in spousal and child-support payments.
What does all that Britney action add up to for her galaxy of dependents? Portfolio puts the final tally of the Britney Economy at $110-120 million a year. Gimme gimme more, indeed.