Though a hefty number of blockbuster new albums reached the marketplace on Tuesday, Nov. 16, none of them look like they'll topple Susan Boyle's "The Gift" from No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week.
Industry prognosticators suggest that the Christmas-flavored "Gift" could sell upwards of 300,000 copies by week's end on Sunday, Nov. 21. Considering it opened atop the list this week with 318,000, that would be a miniscule second-week decline. Normally, albums that post big opening weeks tend to drop significantly in week number two.
What makes "The Gift" different? Its target demographic of older consumers tend not to focus on an album's street date and buy music at a more leisurely pace, so there's probably a fair amount of people shopping Target or Wal-Mart this week that'll pick up "The Gift" without realizing it dropped a week earlier.
Additionally, because it's a holiday-themed album, it benefits from shoppers in the hunt for tunes to play around the house as the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays approach.
Looking to come in at No. 2 is "America's Got Talent" runner-up Jackie Evancho with her debut EP "O Holy Night." The modestly-priced four-track set might sell in the range of 250,000 to 280,000.
Rihanna's fifth studio album, "Loud," is on track to give the diva her fifth top 10, as it's aiming for a start around 180,000 copies.
Both Rascal Flatts' "Nothing Like This" and Keith Urban's "Get Closer" might each sell about 160,000 to 170,000. Josh Groban's "Illuminations" could light up the list with 160,000 to 170,000 as well, while Kid Rock's new "Born Free" may do around 150,000 to 160,000.
On track for relatively soft start is this year's "American Idol" champ Lee DeWyze, as his "Live It Up" debut is estimated to sell in the neighborhood of 30,000 to 40,000. That would make it the lowest start for an "Idol" winner's first album.