Last month I wrote an equation with New York Times columnist, John Tierney, calculating the chances a celebrity marriage will last. Some looked rosy (Kate and Prince William) and some looked less rosy (Will Smith and Jada Pinkett are in a dangerous window). Notably absent from the in-depth discussion was Brangelina — last month they were shacking up and this month, well, unless you’ve been living in a boarded-up shack in rural Montana, you know the smell of wedding bells is in the air (or however the idiom goes).
Brangelina’s getting hitched. But will it last?
I ran the numbers imagining the couple had gotten married the month after the Aniston split. The result: a 1 percent chance of lasting 15 years.
But what a difference five years make! If they hit the altar today, they’d have an 83 percent chance of making it a year, a 79 percent chance of making it five years and a 51 percent chance of lasting 15.
A few factors help their odds, especially compared to what could’ve been a quick, post-Aniston elopement. First, Angelina’s gotten much more legitimate press in recent years — sure her mentions in the Enquirer remain astounding (378 total), but she balances them with 1083 mentions in the New York Times, implying she’s (now) much more than a tabloid princess. The flavor of her fame has taken a turn for the better these five years. Also, while still undeniably as hot as the surface of the planet Mercury, Jolie’s Google image hits are a bit less racy than they were five years ago — more cocktail dresses than lingerie — and lack of skin in these image hits predicts a longer marriage. Finally, age matters — at 48 and 39, Brad and Angelina are now old enough to have their heads on (mostly) straight.
The median length for a marriage in the United States is 11 years, and Brangelina has a better-than-not chance of beating the odds.