Michael Buble's 'Christmas' On Track to Be 2011's Second-Biggest Selling Album
Buble's 'Christmas' Will Top Billboard 200 During Christmas Week

As we reported on Dec. 14, Michael Buble's "Christmas" album should hold at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart for a fourth week, so say industry prognosticators.

The set could sell another 450,000 to 500,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, Dec. 18. The chart's top 10 will be revealed on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

With 1.52 million copies sold in the U.S. (after only seven weeks on sale), "Christmas" is already the fourth biggest selling album of the year, according to Nielsen SoundScan. At the rate it is selling, it will end up 2011's second-biggest selling album -- behind only Adele's "21," which has shifted 5 million. Current projections from industry sources suggest "Christmas" will finish the year with around 2.4 million.

Just to recap, here are SoundScan's top 10 best selling albums of 2011, with three weeks left to go in the year: Adele's "21" (5 million), Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" (2 million), Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" (1.8 million), Buble's "Christmas" (1.52 million), Jason Aldean's "My Kinda Party" (1.42 million), Mumford & Sons' "Sigh No More" (1.34 million), Jay-Z & Kanye West's "Watch the Throne" (1.14 million), Beyonce's "4" (971,000), Drake's "Take Care" (968,000) and Lady Antebellum's "Own the Night" (959,000).

But let's get back to forecasting NEXT week's Billboard 200 chart, shall we?

On SoundScan's Building chart below -- a precursor to the final Billboard 200 ranking -- reflecting the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week (ending Sunday) as reported by six major merchants, Buble is -- wouldn't you know it -- at No. 1.

Adele's "21" is in the runner-up slot on the Building tally, followed by Justin Bieber's "Under the Mistletoe" and Lady Antebellum's "Own the Night." The latter seemingly is profiting from a performance stop on ABC's "Good Morning America" (Dec. 14).

Anthony Hamilton's new "Back to Love" might be the only debut in next week's Billboard 200 top 10 -- at least based on a glance at SoundScan's Building chart. Currently, it's perched at No. 5, which bodes well for its chances of a top 10 arrival on the Billboard 200. Sources say the set could sell around 50,000 in its opening frame.

Nickelback's "Here and Now" is at No. 6 on the Building list, while Drake's "Take Care" holds on at No. 7. "American Idol" winner Scotty McCreery is No. 8 with "Clear As Day," the Black Keys' "El Camino" is No. 9 and the "Glee, the Music: The Christmas Album, Volume 2" is No. 10. The "Glee" set should benefit from the show's Christmas-themed episode, which aired on Dec. 13 and featured nine of the album's songs.

Nielsen SoundScan Building Chart
Rank LW
BB 200
Artist Title
1 1 Michael Buble "Christmas"
2 3 Adele "21"
3 4 Justin Bieber "Under the Mistletoe"
4 15 Lady Antebellum "Own the Night"
5 NEW Anthony Hamilton "Back to Love"
6 8 Nickelback "Here and Now"
7 7 Drake "Take Care"
8 13 Scotty McCreery "Clear As Day"
9 2 The Black Keys "El Camino"
10 18 soundtrack "Glee, the Music: The Christmas Album, Volume 2"
The Building Chart reflects the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week (which ends Sunday) as reported by six major merchants: iTunes, Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Starbucks, Target and Anderson Merchandisers. Billboard estimates that they make up about 85% of all U.S. album sales.