Sienna Miller and Megan Fox may be "hot" young things with summer blockbusters (GI Joe; Transformers) and recent glossy magazine covers (Vogue; Elle) but it's Julie & Julia star Meryl Streep who, economically speaking, has a "midas touch."

According to The Independent, The Streep Effect is reaching beyond the box office. Women & Hollywood's Melissa Silverstein breaks it down:

- The bump in Greek marriages the month after the release of Mamma Mia (flights were up 13%),
- Increase in cookware sales, cookbooks, and French cooking classes since Julie & Julia.
- Sales of Abba albums soared after Mamma Mia
- The books My Life in France and Julie & Julia are on the NY Times best selling list
- Tourism in Kenya increased after Out of Africa was released in the 80s
- Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf made it to the best seller list for the first time after the release of The Hours.

It's interesting that studios scramble to make money with action figures, fast food tie-ins, expensive special effects and GCI guinea pigs when what really has staying power is an excellent actress who chooses good projects. As Silverstein puts it:

I just love the fact that we are talking about a 60 year old woman with ancillary economic power… If she continues to pick films that are diverse and interesting and continues to show us all how she is enjoying her work and her life she will be successful.


Continue to be successful, that is. Without blowing anything up, and without talking guinea pigs (where are her glossy covers?).

The Streep Effect: Why Economists Love Her [Independent]
The Economics of Being Meryl Streep [Women & Hollywood]