The Billboard 200: It was all about the triumph of Mumford & Sons' Babel this week on the chart, as the British band's sophomore set crashed in at No. 1 with a whopping 600,000 sold (according to Nielsen SoundScan). Not only did it register the largest debut of the year, but it outsold the Nos. 2-8 albums combined. The title was one of five debuts in the top 10, which also featured the latest arrivals from Green Day, No Doubt, Lupe Fiasco and deadmau5.
But now, let's take a look at some of the other movers and shakers on the Billboard 200 and elsewhere on our album charts:
-- "Pitch Perfect" & "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" soundtracks: Two very different films where music plays a significant role make a splash on the charts this week. The soundtrack albums to "Pitch Perfect" and "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" arrive at Nos. 1 and 21 on the Top Soundtracks chart, respectively.
The early digital release of the soundtrack to the "Glee"-like "Pitch Perfect" enters 9,000 sold while "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" steps in with 1,000. However, for both albums, their best sales weeks may be ahead. The "Pitch Perfect" album was only available as a download for a week before its CD hit retailers this past Tuesday (Oct. 2). Further, the film itself was only in limited release last weekend (335 theaters in the U.S. and Canada), and will expand wide on Friday, Oct. 5.
For "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," the film is building buzz as it slowly expands across the U.S. to further cities. It was only in 101 theaters last weekend -- but earned the third-largest per-theater average gross for the weekend ($10,823) according to Box Office Mojo.
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" is based on the book of the same name and co-stars Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller. Don't be surprised to see the soundtrack sell solidly as the weeks progress, as the film uses music extensively (arguably almost as a character in itself).
-- John Hiatt: The singer/songwriter earns his highest charting album on the Billboard 200 (and his best sales week since 2003) as Mystic Pinball debuts at No. 39 with 10,000 sold. Until this week, his best showing on the list had been with 1993's Perfectly Good Guitar, which debuted and peaked at No. 47.
-- Metric: The band nets the highest positional gain on the chart as its Synthetica zooms 68 spots, jumping from No. 195 to No. 127. The album sold 3,000 last week and posted a 39% gain (and a 61% leap in downloads). Figure that most of its increase is owed to sales generated by the act's concert ticket/album bundle offer, where each concert-goer also got the digital album as part of the ticket purchase. Metric's tour launched at the end of September and continues through November.
Conversely, the largest fall (position-wise) on the chart this week goes to the Glee: Season Four - Britney 2.0 EP. The digital-exclusive set tumbles 156 slots, falling from No. 43 to No. 199 (down 78% in sales). Without a physical CD in the market, and because the EP is dedicated to only one "Glee" episode, it's not surprising to see the set slide.
-- One Direction: At No. 140, One Direction's iTunes Festival London 2012 live EP debuts with 3,000 sold. The set is a six-song digital sampler of the group's recent show, but it doesn't feature its newest single, "Live While We're Young" (even though the show was recorded after the song had been released to radio). Expect the latter single to debut (in its studio recording form) on the Billboard Hot 100 next week.
-- Heather Headley: The Tony Award and Grammy Award winning actress and singer also bows at No. 187 with Only One In the World and also at No. 25 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. She'll soon be starring in the stage musical adaptation of "The Bodyguard," which opens in London in November.
-- Dragonette & Marina and the Diamonds: On the Dance/Electronic Albums chart, Dragonette's latest album Bodyparts debuts at No. 17 while Marina and the Diamonds' Electra Heart earns Greatest Gainer honors with a 19-15 jump (up 19%).
For the former, it's the trio's second album to reach the tally, following 2010's Fixin to Thrill (it peaked at No. 21 on the July 17 chart). Marina and the Diamonds' album may have earned a gain thanks to attention generated by the racy music video for its single "How to a be a Heartbreaker." The clip, featuring a bevy of Speedo-clad male models, premiered on Sept. 28. The song itself earned a big 133% sales gain, moving from less than 1,000 downloads sold last week to nearly 2,000 in the week ending Sept. 30. It's the second-best sales week for the song -- only its debut frame (6,000 in July) was larger.