After his record-breaking chart week, the late Michael Jackson will continue to shake up the charts next week, too. According to SoundScan's Building Chart data, more than 110,000 Jackson albums were purchased during the first two days of the new tracking week (June 29-30).
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Billboard estimates that the seven merchants that report to Nielsen SoundScan's Building chart -- Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, iTunes, Starbucks, Borders, Target and Anderson Merchandisers -- make up about 60% of all U.S. album sales. Nielsen SoundScan's sales tracking week runs from Monday through Sunday of each week.
"Thriller" was his top seller in those two days, shifting 44,000 copies, while "The Essential Michael Jackson" and "Number Ones" were his second and third-best sellers.
With those kinds of preliminary numbers already racked up, Jackson may yet again dominate Billboard's Top Comprehensive Albums and Top Pop Catalog Albums charts. The Top Pop Catalog Albums tallies albums that are more than 18 months old, have fallen below No. 100 on the Billboard 200 and don't have a current radio single. Catalog albums are ineligible to appear on The Billboard 200 though they can chart on the Top Comprehensive Albums chart.
Over on the Billboard 200 chart, it looks like the new "Now That's What I Call Music 31" compilation (Sony Music/Universal/EMI) is headed for the top slot. Industry prognosticators predict that the set could move between 140,000-150,000 in its first week. Brad Paisley's "American Saturday Night" (Arista Nashville) will also start high, with between 120,000-130,000. Rob Thomas' second solo album, "Cradlesong," could perhaps do around 105,000-120,000.
Other sets looking to open high on the Billboard 200 include Wilco's new self-titled Nonesuch/Warner Bros. album (85,000-100,000), Killswitch Engage's eponymous Roadrunner set (40,000-45,000) and Jeremih's self-titled Def Jam debut (40,000-45,000).