Taylor Swift is dreaming of a "Red" Christmas, it seems. Industry sources are forecasting that her "Red" album is on track to possibly spend a sixth non-consecutive week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart next week. The album might move between 260,000 and 290,000 by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, Dec. 23.
Presently, two new albums are likely to arrive in the top 10, led by T.I.'s "Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head" with perhaps 155,000 to 175,000. Also headed for the top 10 is the multi-artist "12-12-12 The Concert for Sandy Relief" benefit album. The 24-song release may move between 100,000 and 130,000. That figure has been scaled back from earlier projections on Wednesday (Dec. 19), when some forecasters had suggested it might sell upwards of 150,000.
The "12-12-12" album's start will be bolstered by upwards of 60,000 pre-orders banked via the iTunes Store. (Though, not necessarily all of those pre-orders may turn into sales.)
Next week's top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart will be revealed on Thursday, Dec. 27 (instead of on the usual Wednesday, due to the Christmas holiday). The charts on both billboard.com and billboard.biz will refresh around 6 PM EST on Dec. 27 as well.
On Nielsen SoundScan's Building chart (below), T.I. leads the pack while Swift is in the runner-up slot. The Building tally is a precursor to the final Billboard 200 ranking -- reflecting the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week as reported by six major merchants.
Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox" is at No. 3 while the "12-12-12" concert is in fourth. Sources say Mars' album might finish at No. 2 on the final Billboard 200 with maybe 160,000 to 170,000.
At Nos. 5-7 are One Direction's "Take Me Home," Rod Stewart's "Merry Christmas, Baby" and Phillip Phillips' "The World From the Side of the Moon." Blink-182's new "Dogs Eating Dogs" EP is at No. 8 on the Building Chart, though it is not tracking to debut within the top 10 on the official Billboard 200 next week. It will perhaps sell 50,000 to 60,000 copies.
The "Now 44" compilation comes in at No. 9 on the Building Chart, followed by Lady Antebellum's "On This Winter's Night" at No. 10.
Not present on the Building Chart is Michael Buble's 2011 "Christmas" album, as the tally does not include catalog titles. (Catalog titles are generally those albums released 18 months ago, or, for Christmas sets, any that were issued in the previous holiday season -- like Buble's "Christmas.") However, as the Billboard 200 does include both old and new titles, "Christmas" will feature prominently in the top 10 next week, with around 135,000 to 150,000.
|Nielsen SoundScan Building Chart|
|1||NEW||T.I.||"Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head"|
|3||2||Bruno Mars||"Unorthodox Jukebox"|
|4||NEW||Various Artists||"12-12-12 The Concert for Sandy Relief"|
|5||3||One Direction||"Take Me Home"|
|6||4||Rod Stewart||"Merry Christmas, Baby"|
|7||6||Phillip Phillips||"The World From the Side of the Moon"|
|8||NEW||blink-182||"Dogs Eating Dogs"|
|9||11||Various Arists||"Now 44"|
|10||9||Lady Antebellum||"On This Winter's Night"|
|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.|