Thursday, August 28, 2014

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt: There’s ‘No Weak Link’ in This Super Couple

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith.’
20th Century Fox/Everett Collection

It’s rare these days to see a couple with near-equal levels of prestige and box office power in Hollywood, but Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are the exception.
Both are Oscar winners, both are coming off the biggest hits of their respective careers, and both appear primed for even bigger things.
“For other couples, there was often one who had a power advantage over the other,” Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Rentrak, told Speakeasy on Thursday after news of the long-awaited Jolie-Pitt wedding hit front pages everywhere.  ”The difference is that at least for right now there is no weak link in the ‘Brangelina’ equation.”
Pitt, whose “World War Z” racked up more than $200 million in domestic box office last year, is also basking in the glory of his first Oscar victory for producing “12 Years a Slave.” Jolie’s last movie, “Maleficent,” turned out to be a surprise blockbuster for Disney after months of preemptive concern that the studio might have another “John Carter”-style underperformer on its hands.
Both have World War II dramas due later this year, too. Pitt will be starring in “Fury,” about an American tank crew on a mission behind enemy lines in Europe. Jolie, meanwhile, is the behind-the-camera star of “Unbroken,” a biopic about Olympic star Louie Zamperini and how he survived his time as a prisoner of Japanese forces. Jolie’s movie, which she directed and produced, is getting early Oscar buzz.
“With ‘Maleficent’ under her belt and ‘Unbroken’ on the way, it is Brad who may be playing catch up with his formidable partner,” Dergarabedian said. “They just keep raising each other’s game.”
Here’s a look at how the “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” stars’ box office and Oscar success stack up against each other and other notable, modern day movie-star couples. (Box office figures are according to Box Office Mojo):

Brad Pitt
Total domestic box office gross, as an actor: $2.48 billion; 11 movies grossing more than $100 million
Biggest gross: ”World War Z”  – $202.4 million
Oscar nominations/wins: Five nominations; two for producing, three for acting; one win for producing “12 Years a Slave”

Angelina Jolie
Total domestic box office gross, as an actor: $2.03 billion; 9 movies grossing more than $100 million
Biggest gross: ”Maleficent” — $237.6 million
Oscar nominations/wins: Two nominations, one win for acting; won Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award this year

Total “Brangelina” domestic box office: $4.5 billion
Total “Brangelina” Oscar nominations and wins: Seven nominations; three wins

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith at the Oscars in March.
Everett Collection
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith
Total domestic box office: $4.4 billion
Oscar nominations/wins: Two nominations, no wins
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck in 2013.
Everett Collection
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner
Total domestic box office: $2.5 billion
Total Oscar nominations and wins: Two nominations, two wins
Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz in ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona.’
Weinstein Company/Everett Collection
Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz
Total domestic box office: $1.3 billion
Total Oscar nominations and wins: Six nominations, two wins
Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise in ‘Eyes Wide Shut.’
Warner Bros./Everett Collection
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman*
Total domestic box office: $2.5 billion
Oscar nominations/wins: Three nominations, zero wins
*Totals through 2000, before their divorce; Kidman received three Oscar nominations and one win after they divorced.
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We knew they were going to do it, we just didn’t know they’d do it so secretly. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were married in France last weekend and the world is only hearing about it today.
It was a particularly quiet move for the couple that has lived happily in the limelight for years. They’ve managed to keep the peace with the paparazzi by allowing them to take photos of their children. That’s helped them get incredibly positive play in the tabloid press and they’ve used it to help promote causes that are important to them like Pitt’s work building housing in New Orleans and Jolie’s work in Africa and Afghanistan.

But the wedding was apparently something they wanted to keep on the down low. According to press reports, the couple was married at Chateau Miraval with just their children and some friends in attendance. Being married does’t really change much for the couple. With six children they’ve clearly always been very committed to one another. But it’s worth taking a look at just how powerful the newlyweds are from a numbers point of view. (We are Forbes after all.)

$47 million: The combined estimated earnings of the Pitt-Jolie household between June 2013 and June 2014. That might sound like a lot but to put it in perspective, 41 celebrities on our Celebrity 100 list made more than that in the same time period and that number is combined earnings for the couple. Pitt earned more in the last year thanks to World War Z but Jolie stands to be the big winner next year when she collects her backend pay from Maleficent which earned an impressive $748 million at the global box office.

$280 million: The combined estimated earnings of the couple over the last six years. The most either of them ever earned in one 12-month period during that time was Jolie in 2013. That year she earned an estimated $33 million, most of which came from her upfront pay for Maleficent. Thanks to that movie’s success, she can continue to demand as much as $20 million upfront but Jolie prefers to combine blockbusters with much smaller films like In The Land of Blood and Honey which was her directing debut. The film earned just $303,000 at the box office.

7: The number of Oscar nominations the pair has earned. Pitt won for the first time last year  for 12 Years a Slave which he helped produce. The film won Best Picture. Jolie won Best Supporting Actress in 2000 for Girl, Interrupted which was also one of her first big films. Last year Jolie was honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Both actors have prestige pics hitting theaters later this year. Pitt’s Fury, about a group of American soldiers in a tank at the end of World War II, hits theaters in October. Jolie directed, but doesn’t appear in, Unbroken based on Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling book about Olympian and prisoner of war Louis Zamperini. Her movie hits theaters on Christmas Day.

$11.9 billion: The amount the couple’s films have earned at the global box office. Pitt wins this one. His films have earned a total $6.5 billion according to Box Office Mojo. But Jolie has the highest grossing movie of the pair with Maleficent which brought in $748 million. Pitt’s highest grossing film was World War Z with $540 million. Mr. & Mrs. Smith, their only film together, earned $478 million in 2005.

2009: The year Jolie topped our Celebrity 100 list. It was the only time she ranked No. 1 on the list which measures a combination of money and fame.

Was there another secret marriage ceremony?
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's long-awaited wedding in the south of France last Saturday may not have been enough to seal the deal — at least according to the few details the notoriously secretive couple has released.
A ceremony in France, presided over by a California judge with a California marriage license would not by themselves appear to create a valid marriage under either California or French law.
So there must be more to the couple's long trek to the altar.
A spokeswoman for Pitt, Lindsay Kurtz, said in a statement on Thursday that the couple was married at a private ceremony at their Chateau Miraval estate in Provence. She said that before traveling to France, the couple "filled out their paperwork and obtained a marriage license from a local judge, who also traveled to France to conduct the ceremony at Chateau Miraval. They are therefore married under Californian law."
But weddings by themselves are not enough to create legally valid marriages. States and countries have specific requirements for the steps couples must take to have a recognized marriage. The exact requirements vary.
California marriage licenses authorize an official to "perform a marriage ceremony within the state of California," according to a sample published by the state Department of Public Health. Instructions supplied with the license similarly specify that it "must be used only within the State of California."
And to be a valid marriage in France, a California judge can't officiate in that country. Legally valid marriage ceremonies in France must be performed at city hall by a French civil authority, according to the French Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Mike Kretzmer, a family law attorney in Manhattan Beach, Calif., says it's a "curious, curious question." He said that if Pitt and Jolie were his clients, he would advise them to have a California ceremony as well — unless they already have. "Go have your celebration wherever you want to have it, but make sure you get it solemnized in California, too," he says.


A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Couny Registrar told MailOnline that the Pitts have 90 days to get married after obtaining their marriage license, saying: 'We do not have any information on the marriage.
'To get married in Los Angeles County, couples need to obtain a marriage license and solemnize their marriage within 90 days.
'Afterwards, they submit their signed marriage license to receive a marriage certificate. The marriage record becomes available after 6-8 weeks.'
She added: 'The judge would have to do it in California or LA County but many people have a ceremony outside of their official one.'

(Reuters) - Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Hollywood's first couple, married in France over the weekend following a two-year engagement, ending nearly a decade of fevered tabloid speculation over whether "Brangelina" would ever tie the knot.
Pitt, 50, and Jolie, 39, were wed on Saturday in a small chapel at Chateau Miraval, the couple's estate in southeastern France, in a civil ceremony, according to a statement provided by publicist Martin Torres on Thursday.
The couple - whose long-rumored nuptials had been celebrity magazine and tabloid fodder and had sent reporters and photographers as far as India and Africa in search of possible "secret" ceremonies - wed much like they live: quietly and far removed from Hollywood's spotlight.
The power couple's six children, all under the age of 14, took part in the ceremony, the statement said.
The "Maleficent" star was walked down the aisle by eldest sons Maddox and Pax, while Zahara and Vivienne threw petals gathered from a garden. Shiloh and Knox were ring bearers.
"It was very much a family affair," the statement said.
Jolie and Pitt, who had said they hoped to wed once same-sex marriage was legal throughout the United States, were married under California law by a judge who traveled to France for the ceremony.
Jolie's father, actor Jon Voight, told U.S. TV entertainment program "Inside Edition," "That's nice," when informed about his daughter's wedding. Jolie and Voight were estranged for years but have reconciled.
Jolie and Pitt couple announced their engagement in April 2012, seven years after their relationship caught fire on the set of 2005 film "Mr. & Mrs. Smith."
They will star in an upcoming film "By the Sea," written and to be directed by Jolie, who will also co-produce the drama with Pitt.
Pitt has said they considered marriage because it meant a lot to their children.
As two of the most prominent and influential figures in the entertainment industry, Pitt and Jolie have taken on humanitarian causes as well as putting their muscle behind serious film.
Jolie, who won an Oscar for best-supporting actress in 2000 for "Girl, Interrupted," was appointed as a special envoy for refugee issues in 2011 after a decade as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
Pitt, who co-produced the Oscar-winning drama "12 Years a Slave," started a foundation to help restore New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Jolie, who was previously married to actors Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton, has also become a voice for women's health issues. She underwent a double mastectomy last year in a preventative step prompted by her genetic disposition for breast cancer.
Pitt is divorced from actress Jennifer Aniston.
Gay marriage is legal in 19 of the 50 states and in Washington, D.C. More than 30 courts have ruled in favor of gay marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to take up the issue again in its coming term, which starts in October.

(Additional reporting by Barbara Goldberg and Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Mary Milliken and Jonathan Oatis)

by Bruna Nessif
Is this the year of secret weddings or what?!
A number of stars said I-do under the radar in recent months, but Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie took the (wedding) cake when it comes to successfully tying the knot without anybody even having a clue that it was about to go down.
The über-famous pair were married Saturday at Château Miraval in France, the couple's spokesman tells E! News, in a small chapel in a private ceremony attended by family and friends. Prior to the nondenominational civil ceremony, the movie stars obtained a marriage license from a local California judge, who also conducted the wedding ceremony in France.
This got us thinking—how did they pull it off? How did two of Hollywood's biggest A-listers manage to have such secretive nuptials?
Well, here are a few ways...

The Right Place at the Right Time: It's all about timing, people! And picking the perfect location. A source close to the couple tells E! News the wedding planning has been going on for a while, and the duo made sure to conduct their special ceremony right in between Jolie's shooting schedule in Europe.
"Angelina purposely planned this so it would happen between the pre-production and production of her new film in Malta because it meant they would be in Europe," the insider tells us. "They always wanted to have this wedding at the chapel at Miraval. That is their family home, it is where the children and them are at their happiest...There was never a question of this ceremony taking place anywhere else."
Additionally, it was very convenient that the couple decided to tie the knot over Emmys weekend!
Most of their celeb pals, including Julia Roberts, were busy gearing up for the big red carpet on Monday. Meanwhile, Pitt's bromance partner George Clooney was in Italy shooting a commercial. Additionally, since their wedding took place overseas wasn't announced until after the weekend, it was too late for the weekly mags to pick up the story. Sneaky, sneaky!

Other Celeb Weddings on the Radar: Speaking of Clooney, his upcoming nuptials to fiancée Amal Alamuddin have taken over wedding watch in recent months, serving as a great distraction for Brangelina to make it official.
"How great is that?! I'm really happy for Brad and Angie and their whole family," Clooney said in response to Pitt and Jolie's secret wedding. Interestingly enough, Angelina predicted that George and Amal would be tying the knot before she and Brad exchanged vows! In a May 2014 interview with Entertainment Weekly, the mom of six was asked which couple would marry first. Angelina's reply? "Probably George!"
Way to throw everyone off track there, Angie.

 Barely Anybody Knew It Was Happening: "Brad and Angelina discussed the wedding with a very small group of friends," the close source tells us. "They debated whether they would be able to invite more people but ultimately decided the most important thing was to have a private family wedding and then news not to get out in any way."
In fact, a second source tells us that their ceremony only included 22 people! "The only guests were Brad's family from the states—his mom and dad, Bill and Jane Pitt; his brother, Doug; sister Julie; and their kids— Maddox, 13, Pax, 11, Zahara, 9, Shiloh, 8, and twins Knox and Viviennne, 6—so it was no more than 22 people in total."
Jolie's father Jon Voight was not in attendance, but said in a statement to E! News earlier today, "It sounds like it was a wonderful wedding. It must have been very beautiful with the kids participating. I know it was during Emmy weeks and they were able to do it very quietly. I'm very happy for them."
It's safe to say that Brad and Angie are, by far, the king and queen of secret celeb weddings!

08/28/2014 AT 02:00 PM EDT
When Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie pulled off their surprise wedding on Saturday, the couple kept their big day so quiet that local officials admit they were stunned by the news.

"No one in Correns knew a thing," says an official from the French village, where the couple tied the knot at their wine-growing estate, Château Miraval.

"It was a marriage which seems to have been carried out in total intimacy and absolute discretion," the official tells PEOPLE.

The wedding license was obtained in the couple's home state of California.

Château Miraval had long been rumored as a preferred wedding site for the pair, who first settled there in 2008 just before the birth of their twins, Knox and Vivienne.

The sprawling property has a 35-room main house, an ancient chapel and a working vineyard spread over 1,100 acres.

Over the years, design enthusiast Pitt, 50, has taken the lead in renovating the house to suit his architectural and aesthetic interests, picking up fabric, wallpaper and furniture in Paris and at various art fairs.

Most recently, during a 10-day visit in July, the actor quietly saw to certain details, including making contact with a small local florist shop several villages away, PEOPLE has learned.

Adding to the surprise factor, the couple fit their big day into a small window in a schedule full of work commitments. Jolie, 39, has been prepping for the couple's upcoming drama, By the Sea, in Malta – she's costarring with Pitt, writing and directing – and Pitt spent his fifth day as a newlywed promoting his upcoming WWII drama, Fury, in England.

Largely keeping his new ring out of view during the photo call – at one point he even slipped it into his jacket pocket – Pitt "wore his band but didn't play with it like sometimes people do when they have a new ring," says one reporter who attended the press event, which was held at the Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset, about two-and-a-half hours from London. The couple exchanged rings designed by Robert Procop.

"At the end, we were just talking and I said, 'Congratulations!' and he gave me a big smile and said, 'Thank you, man!' " adds the attendee, noting that Pitt had a newlywed glow. "He looked amazing today. He was very animated, very invested. Very alive."

Adds another attendee: "He was very nice, very open and in a very good mood."

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie probably didn't provide much of a wedding present to celebrity journalists.
The A-list couple timed their wedding — and the manner they announced their nuptials — to maintain maximum secrecy from the gossip news outlets for as long as possible.
"They're both so media savvy and they know how to keep things so private until they're ready for the public to know," says Alisandra Puliti, deputy news director for Us Weekly. "But they're so strategic, this wasn't a surprise."
Though almost every outlet in the world had been anticipating Pitt, 50, and Jolie, 39, were set to tie the knot, the couple held their private ceremony in France on a weekend where attention in the entertainment industry would be fixed elsewhere. While most eyes were on the MTV VMAs and the Emmy Awards, only the gazes of family and friends were on the Hollywood couple. It wasn't exactly a sequel to the Kanye West-Kim Kardashian media circus.
Also, the location of the event at the Provence's Chateau Miraval, a wine chateau that they've been leasing since 2008, shows strategic forethought from one of the most photographed couples in the world. France has much stricter paparazzi laws, particularly when it comes to children, than the U.S. or England.
"It's no surprise that they weren't going to play ball with any of the celebrity weeklies," says Dorothy Cascerceri, celebrity trend expert and host of the TV talk show "Celebrity Corner."
"These are the same gossip magazines and websites that have put Brad and Angelina on the cover countless times over the years, selling lots of magazines with stories about whether or not they're going to break up."
When the couple did go public with their announcement, they chose to have that news delivered through The Associated Press, rather than a celebrity-oriented outlet like People or "Entertainment Tonight."
In an increasingly crowded media, celebrities in recent years have gone to great lengths to retain some semblance of control over big events in their personal life.

Donna Freydkin, USA TODAY 5:19 p.m. EDT August 28, 2014

If there's one topic stars love to collectively whine about, it's invasion of privacy. Between the onslaught of Twitter and Instagram, and the increasingly aggressive tactics of 24/7 paparazzi coverage, it's tough, say members of the A-list, to even go to Whole Foods or walk their dogs without winding up photographed and written about.
So how, then, did Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie — the world's most photographed and gabbed-about couple — manage to tie the knot, so clandestinely, without anyone the wiser?
After all, paparazzi seem to trail them nonstop.
The answer: by keeping their lives as insular as possible, say industry experts.
1. There were likely no glitzy invitations or mysterious save the dates shipped months before the I dos, thus subverting a leak.
Wedding planner Marcy Blum says the key to pulling off something like this is to not let the cat out of the bag, because once people know about it, the couple has to be defensive and put safeguards in place, such as bodyguards, decoy cars and huge balloons in the air to divert airborne paparazzi.
"Unless you get early intel, you won't have camera crews or helicopters. The rest of it fell into place. It's just the two of them and the kids who knew about it. No one is going to find out," she says.
In fact, the whole thing is quintessentially Pitt and Jolie. They manage the press, and their fame, with grace and finesse. And they're smart enough to know that stars who go for bigger and flashier shindigs wind up having information spread online. Once you have more than 50 people, says Blum, the jig is up.
"I did LeBron James' wedding and the save the date was on TMZ the day it went out. Clearly, one of the guests leaked it. Once you have 200 people, someone will say something. You have to keep it really small and intimate," says Blum.
2. The ceremony was held at Château Miraval, their French 35-room ultra-private estate, and not at a celebrity-favorite venue, such as California's San Ysidro Ranch, where Jessica Simpson got hitched.
Kent Moyer, the CEO of the World Protection Group, who has kept royal family members and A-list actors safe, says that an event this size probably required minimal security, perhaps 10-20 guards on the property to make sure no one simply wandered up and walked inside. The foreign locale enabled more secrecy.
"I'm sure they chartered a private jet and had a very small intimate group of people. You don't tell anyone what the event is. If it's inside, there's no issue with helicopters overhead," says Moyer.
3. There wasn't a massive guest list, which would have ensured that someone, somewhere, would spill the beans — the bigger the party, the greater the leak.
Unlike so many celebrities, with countless hangers-on and a retinue of interchangeable best friends, the Jolie-Pitts don't let a lot of people in, says celebrity photographer Sara Jaye Weiss. She spent time with the couple in Haiti in 2006, when Jolie showed off her pregnancy (with Shiloh). And she said very few can penetrate the world inhabited by the couple.
"What struck me about the two of them are that they are completely ego-free. I think this mentality goes hand-in-hand with keeping one's team tight. It's a very, very small circle in the Jolie-Pitt world; thus, much fewer opportunities exist for leaks. It's so simple, it's brilliant. ... It doesn't particularly surprise me that they aced out the media and kept their ceremony on their own terms," she says.
Celebrity party-planner Michael Russo speculates that they most likely had only a few key family members and friends attend. "They probably only told one or two people they really trust. I assume Brad and Angelina have a chef who could make them a wedding cake," says Russo. "Their life is so self-contained. They did it on their property. They're just extremely private people."
4. Neither actor — who have been together almost 10 years and have six children — participate in social media in any meaningful way, sharing very little of their personal lives with the public.
In contrast, think of the Kim Kardashian/Kanye West nuptials, with countless photos leading up to the big day, and afterward, announcements that were littered all over social media by guests. The Jolie-Pitt guest list was air tight.
Top planner Yifat Oren, who handled the weddings of Natalie Portman and Anne Hathaway, says it speaks to the loyalty Pitt and Jolie command that no one divulged a single detail, even after the wedding.
"In this case, their insular team and friends and family are vested in safeguarding their privacy," says Oren. "Every detail was managed and handled by their internal staff."
Meaning, there's no temptation to reveal anything to anyone. "They kept the group small and the people involved knew them for years. These are people they trust," says Keija Minor, editor-in-chief of Brides magazine.
5. Neither actor had any major public appearances between the actual wedding on Saturday and the release of the information the following Thursday.
Jolie's Maleficent campaign was over, and that means there were no massive film premieres, no huge awards shows, where eagle-eyed photographers would spot a wedding band or where reporters would ask her directly whether she'd done the deed yet.
"It's usually on the red carpet somewhere, someone notices a ring, or afterwards, people feel OK to say that they just got back from France and 'I went to their wedding,' " says Oren.

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