But not the Kardashians.
In fact, the Kardashian/Humphries saga may become even more lucrative in its disintegration. The 72-day marriage will be the gift that keeps on giving to everyone from Kim Kardashian to Kris Humphries to the E! network and to all the magazines and TV shows that cover their sordid saga.
The Blogosphere and the Twitterverse were filled with guestimations Tuesday about exactly how much Kardashian made per hour of her marriage to Humphries. Many of those estimates used the reported $17.9 million Kim received for broadcasting her wedding extravaganza and divided them by the number of hours the couple were married, coming out to just over $10,000 per hour of matrimony.
That breakdown may not be entirely accurate. That $17.9 million may have been earned as assets as a married couple. Kris Humphries may not have access to the big money in the Kardashian empire from the sales of clothes, shoes and diet aids, but he could be entitled to a split of that wedding booty.
“In California, a 50-50 split of income and assets not inherited or gifted is the general rule,” divorce attorney Vikki Ziegler explained to Fox411.
That leaves approximately $8 million if Kim and Kris split the wedding take jointly. However, if Kim had that revenue as one of her singular assets prior to the wedding, Kris could walk away with zilch.
“If Kim received that money under contract in her name alone, with a prenuptial agreement stating all property is hers before and after the marriage then it’s hers. If it was given to both of them jointly it will be split equally,” Ziegler said. “It all depends if the prenup separates earning post marriage, which I assume it does.”
Regardless, some of that will be shaved off the top by Kim’s manager, her mom Kris Jenner, who has openly said that she takes a 10 percent fee for all deals she negotiates for her daughters. That means Kris could have earned approximately $1.79 million from her daughter’s wedding.
Jenner for her part denies Kim made any money off of her wedding.
“She didn’t make a dime off of this wedding,” Jenner told a radio program Tuesday. “She actually spent millions of dollars on this wedding, so it’s not something that she thought would not ever be happily ever after.”
So who else benefitted?
E! was a big winner. The network was reportedly able to sell initial advertising spots for the wedding special for as much as $100,000, up from the $5,000 for a regular advertising spot. Insiders estimate that E! made $13 million in ad revenue for the main event alone, not counting the millions it has taken in by running the “fairytale” extravanganza day in and day out over the past several weeks.
And that doesn’t take into account the upcoming season of the Kardashians’ show, which will feature Kim and Kris planning the wedding that led to their blip of a betrothal.
“I don’t think there is any question that E! is pleased over the turn of events with Kim filing for divorce,” media analyst Brad Adgate of Horizon media told Fox411. “I do expect a spike in ratings just to see if the topic is even discussed between the two sisters.”
People magazine, who reportedly paid $1.5 million for exclusive photos of Kim’s wedding also walked away a big winner. They increased their newsstand price to $4.99 for the Kardashian wedding special, which gave them nearly an extra dollar in revenue off each issue sold. The wedding issue sold a reported 31 percent more than their newsstand average of 1.15 million.
This week, People features the couple’s split, which is sure to be a newsstand smash. So likely will every other tabloid, from Star to US Weekly, and every other tabloid news show, which means more magazine sales, higher ratings and more opportunities for Kim to sell her story to the press.
Everyone wins. Except maybe the friends who bought them expensive wedding gifts.