'Now 50' Eyeing Top of Billboard 200 Chart
The latest "Now That's What I Call Music!" compilation may bring an end to the "Frozen" soundtrack's reign at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Industry sources forecast "Now 50" to sell more than 120,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, May 11. Its sales could be further amplified by gift-giving shopping related to the Mother's Day holiday, which occurs on Sunday.
"Now 50" was released on May 6. The Billboard 200's new top 10 will be revealed on Wednesday, May 14.
The long-running "Now That's What I Call Music" series has seen all 49 of its numbered albums reach the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart. And 17 of them hit No. 1. The new "Now 50" album could earn the series its best sales week for an album since "Now 41" sold 152,000 copies in the week ending March 11, 2012.
The franchise has also spawned top 10 releases with the themed collections "Now That's What I Call Christmas!" (No. 3), "Now #1's" (No. 6), "Now That's What I Call Christmas 3" (No. 10), "Now That's What I Call Country" (No. 7) and "Now That's What I Call Country Vol. 2" (No. 10).
Of course, there is always the chance that "Frozen" could surprise and hold on to the top slot. It's currently ruling for a 13th nonconsecutive week at No. 1. At the present, it's too early to tell how much the album might sell in the week ending May 11.
Following "Now 50," the next highest debut will come from Hunter Hayes' second album, "Storyline," which may sell 75,000. The country singer's album could earn the No. 3 slot behind "Now 50" and "Frozen" (so long as "Frozen" doesn't completely tumble in sales, which seems unlikely). On the current chart, "Frozen" sold 106,000 copies in the week ending May 4, and was down in sales by 8 percent.
Hayes should easily nab his best sales week and highest charting album on the Billboard 200 with "Storyline”. His previous best sales frame came when his self-titled debut sold 40,000 over the busy Christmas shopping week of 2012 (ending Dec. 23). The album later peaked at No. 7 after it was reissued in a deluxe format with bonus tracks.