Wiz Khalifa's "O.N.I.F.C." album will be the highest debut on next week's Billboard 200 chart -- but it might not be No. 1.
Industry sources are forecasting the set to sell between 135,000 to 145,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, Dec. 9. That might not be enough to capture the top slot though, as Taylor Swift's "Red" and Rod Stewart's "Merry Christmas, Baby," are both challenging Khalifa for No. 1. We'll have a better idea on how Swift and Stewart are selling later this week.
The new Billboard 200 chart's top 10 will be revealed on the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 12.
Most holiday albums should see big gains on the chart next week, after the market adjusts itself after the post-Thanksgiving week slump. Thus, both Stewart and Michael Buble's 2011 "Christmas" album (which returned to the top 10 this week) are due to earn large increases.
"O.N.I.F.C." is Khalifa's second studio effort, and follows his "Rolling Papers" debut in early 2011. That album launched at No. 2 with 197,000 sold according to Nielsen SoundScan, thanks in part to the success of his No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 single "Black and Yellow." The new album, however, doesn't have a hit quite that popular yet. Its current single, "Remember You" (featuring the Weeknd), rises 98-82 on the Hot 100. It follows "Work Hard, Play Hard," which hit No. 17 back in May.
Other albums aiming for sizable bows next week include Ke$ha's "Warrior" and Florida Georgia Line's "Here's to the Good Times." The former is tracking to move about 80,000 while the latter should sell 50,000.