Cover Story: Tom edges out Nic for February covers

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All it takes is the breakup of one of Hollywood's most-gossiped-about marriages to win Cover Story's Short-Month Special award for February. And, fittingly for the stumpiest month of the year, short-statured Tom Cruise nosed out lanky Nicole Kidman to triumph by a mere half-point, 9.5 to 9. Ms. Kidman may burn, but even the occasionally foolproof Cover Story says her soon-to-be-ex hubby boasts more boffo box office.

Second place goes to the indefatigable Jennifer Lopez, who earned five points flogging a new movie or new CD or clothing line ... or suffered a major breakup, or announced a gubernatorial candidacy.... Cover Story can't recall which. J. Lo's formidable work ethic-as Oprah Winfrey will attest, it's not easy posing for all those magazine covers-endlessly inspires us weary scriveners at Cover Story. (Nor have hardened New York City police officers reportedly scored us cuticle cream while we're in the clink, like they did for Ms. Lopez after a particularly eventful evening with ex-boyfriend Sean "Puffy" Combs.) Third place: Julianne Moore, who probably deserves it after enduring making "Hannibal" with notorious scenery-chewer Anthony Hopkins.

Cover Story is Ad Age's monthly ranking of celebrities' popularity as reflected by their appearances on the covers of more than 30 of the nation's leading publications.

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