'New Moon' Rises To No. 1 on Billboard 200
Death Cab for Cutie Ryan Russell

You're So Vein

It's hard to overemphasize the impact the "Twilight" series has had on the cultural conversation. In recent days, Ryan Seacrest has been doing dramatic readings of sections of "New Moon" during his morning radio show and posting the videos of his candlelit performances on his Web site.

It makes the soundtrack a safe bet as a slam-dunk-digital sales already launched Anya Marina to No. 22 on Billboard's Heatseekers Songs chart, as her "Satellite Heart" was offered as an immediate download from the soundtrack with a pre-order from iTunes-but it also makes its success hard to replicate. "With 'Twilight' and 'New Moon,' people are buying into the whole experience," Tortella says. "They want to own it."

Of the 2.2 million copies of the "Twilight" soundtrack sold in the United States, 1.7 million were physical CDs and 521,000 were digital downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan. (Except for the Paramore track "Decode," the tracks on the album weren't available a la carte on iTunes.) Part of the reason for the popularity of the physical format among young buyers may be the goodies that were packed into each CD-and Atlantic is repeating that strategy for "New Moon."

Each CD will contain a poster of the film's characters, and there will be different editions that contain a variety of bonus tracks of songs in the film that didn't make the album, including Lupe Fiasco's "Solar Midnite," the Magic Numbers and Amadou & Mariam's "All I Believe In" and two classical tracks.

There will be CDs available with merch-look for "New Moon" T-shirts for your gothy teen at fye this holiday season-and, for the first time, the soundtrack will be available for $32.99 as a USB drive sculpted into the family crest of the Cullens, Edward's vampire family.

Besides placing the soundtrack in nontraditional retailers to take advantage of the holiday season, the label is unveiling a Hot Topic tour Nov. 6, with various bands from the soundtrack making appearances during a 15-market trek. Besides performances, the tour includes signings in Hot Topic and Q&A sessions in the mall where the stores are located.

"The first volume really centered a lot around Paramore," Tortella says. "This one is really about showing the depth of it and the mood of it by having a bunch of artists participate in events."

Death Cab will appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and at mtvU's Woodie Awards. In addition, the soundtrack will be promoted in onscreen advertising in movie theaters and a prime-time TV campaign during Thanksgiving weekend.

Online, MySpace is the soundtrack's key partner, debuting the soundtrack listing, Marina's single and then streaming the soundtrack in full. The film's first trailer also premiered on the site-and received 4.2 million views in the first 24 hours.

The "New Moon" soundtrack also will receive a push internationally, with Spain, France, Germany, Australia, Japan and Mexico getting bonus tracks from local artists in their native language on the soundtrack. In Mexico-where "Twilight" is known as "Crepúsculo"-the soundtrack to the first movie went to No. 5 on the Mexican albums chart and went gold, selling at least 40,000 copies, according to the Mexican labels association Amprofon.

"The fun part about having a franchise like this is it's the experience of the music and the experience of the film that really drives a lot of the ideas," Tortella says.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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