Christina Aguilera’s baby pictures fall flat

People magazine gambled on Christina Aguilera’s baby photos being a smash hit for sales, but came up snake eyes.

The magazine reportedly paid $1.5 million for exclusive photos of Christina Aguilera and her new baby Max, but early estimates from the President’s Day weekend sales show consumers weren’t inspired to pick the issue up.

The New York Post is reporting that the issue, which hit late last week, is on target to sell only around 1.3 million copies this week, according to some industry sources.

Time Inc.’s biggest cash cow rag ordinarily sells and average 1.4 million copies a week on newsstands.

“I have no doubt that it will sell healthily and within our expectations,” insisted People Managing Editor Larry Hackett to the New York Post, who has been under some pressure to move the sales needle after circulation in the second half of 2007 tumbled 8.5 percent, accelerated by a 50-cent price hike to $3.99 introduced in September.

“There’s the short-term goal of having [the pictures] in there for our readers and a long-term goal to reaffirm that People is the place for major life events of A-list celebrities,” he said.

People is also rumored to be shelling out $4 million to $6 million for exclusive US rights to the upcoming photos of Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony’s twins, according to this week’s Advertising Age.

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.