You never stopped believin', right? "Glee: The Music—Journey to Regionals" bows at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 154,000, ahead of the "Twilight Saga: Eclipse" soundtrack at No. 2 with 146,000 . . . Christina Aguilera's "Bionic" plugs in at No. 3 with 111,000 . . . All of this is quite exciting, certainly, but get ready for next week's Billboard 200, where Drake's "Thank Me Later" is aiming to bulldoze the top of the tally with a very handsome first week. (Please note: this story was updated on Friday, June 18 at 10 AM PST.)


FLASH POINTS

• It was Team Jacob and Team Edward versus the Gleeks this past week in the race to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, as the "Twilight Saga: Eclipse" soundtrack went up against the latest installment of the "Glee" soundtrack series, "Journey to Regionals."

• Well, Gleeks rejoice! The "Journey to Regionals" EP debuts at No. 1 with 154,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, besting the "Eclipse" album at No. 2 with 146,000.

• The new "Glee" set is the fifth soundtrack album release from "Glee" since the TV series launched a year ago on Fox and the third "Glee" set to hit No. 1 following "The Power of Madonna" EP and "The Music: Volume 3—Showstoppers."

• Last week, industry prognosticators initially thought "Eclipse" was a good bet for No. 1, with a possible first-week tally of around 140,000 to 160,000, while "Glee" was expected to hit a number in the range of 110,000 to 130,000. As it turns out, while "Eclipse" performed to expectations, the "Glee" album bested the predictions and held up better through the week than anticipated.

• However, the chances of "Glee: The Music—Journey to Regionals" holding onto No. 1 next week are pretty much nonexistant, as a certain red-hot artist is primed to explode atop the tally. According to industry prognosticators, Drake's debut full-length studio album, "Thank Me Later," which hit retail yesterday (June 15), is projected to sell in the range of 425,000 to 475,000—if not more—by week's end on June 20.

• If it moves as much as sources think, it'll mark one of the biggest sales weeks of the year for a single album. Currently, 2010's best frames were earned by Sade's "Soldier of Love" (502,000 off its debut in February) and Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" (481,000 in its debut week in late January).

• Back on this week's chart, Christina Aguilera's fourth English-language studio album, "Bionic," bows at No. 3 with 111,000. Her last effort, the 2006 double-length album "Back to Basics," bowed at No. 1 with 346,000 copies sold. Over on the Digital Songs chart, her new album's title track debuts at No. 39 with 43,000 downloads, while the set's first single, "Not Myself Tonight," re-enters at No. 56 with 30,000 (up 149%). Katy Perry's "California Gurls" retains the No. 1 slot with 353,000 (up 11%). The top debut on Digital Songs this week is Justin Bieber's "Never Say Never" from the new "Karate Kid" movie, fighting its way to a No. 15 bow with 76,000. The song also features "Karate" star Jaden Smith.

• On the Billboard 200, Plies' "Goon Affiliated" arrives at No. 5 with 56,000, marking the rapper's fourth chart entry since his "Real Testament" debut in 2007. His last release, 2008's "Da Realist," opened at No. 14 with 114,000 sold.

• One more new entry graces the top 10 this week, as Dierks Bentley's "Up on the Ridge" climbs in at No. 9 with just under 39,000. It's the fifth consecutive top 10 set for Bentley, whose last release, 2009's "Feel That Fire," entered at No. 3 with 71,000.

• Last week's No. 1 album, Jack Johnson's "To the Sea" floats down to No. 4 with 91,000 (down 63%). Justin Bieber's "My World 2.0" drops four rungs to No. 6 (49,000; down 7%), "Glee, the Music, Volume 3: Showstoppers" slips four to No. 7 (41,000; down 10%), and Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" also falls four to No. 8 (39,000; down 4%). Rounding out the top 10 is Lady Gaga's "The Fame," which drops four slots to No. 10 (31,000; down 5%).

• Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending June 13) totaled 5.6 million units, up 9% compared with the sum last week (5.2 million) and down 11% compared with the comparable sales week of 2009 (6.4 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 136.2 million, down 11% compared with the same total at this point last year (153 million).

• Digital track sales this past week totaled 22.3 million downloads, down 1% compared with last week (22.6 million) and up 6% compared with the comparable week of 2009 (21.1 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 533.0 million, up less than 1% compared with the same total at this point last year (530.7 million).

• On next week's Billboard 200, in addition to Drake's "Thank Me Later," a number of other albums are on course to make noteworthy debuts. Watch for arrivals from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Mojo," Sarah McLachlan's "Laws of Illusion" the Gaslight Anthem's "American Slang" and the "Now 34" compilation, among other titles.



MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 5.6 million units
• UP 9% from last week's charts: 5.2 million units
• DOWN 11% from the comparable week in 2009: 6.4 million units
• This week: The top three albums sell more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on the Billboard 200: The Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D." debuted at No. 1 with 304,000 copies while the previous week's No. 1, Dave Matthews' Band's "Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King," slipped to No. 2 with 128,000 (down 70%). Aventura's "The Last" was the second-highest entry, coming in at No. 5 with 47,000."


A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the albums released this week, due on next week's charts: Drake's "Thank Me Later," Sarah McLachlan's "Laws of Illusion," Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Mojo," the "Now 34" compilation, the Gaslight Anthem's "American Slang," Devo's "Something for Everybody," Robyn's "Body Talk, Pt. 1," Steve Miller Band's "Bingo!," Kevin Rudolf's "To the Sky" and Lewis Black's "Stark Raving Black."

• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2009 when: the Jonas Brothers' "Lines, Vines & Trying Times" bowed at No. 1 with 247,000 copies while the previous week's No. 1, the Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D.," moved to the runner-up spot with 148,000 (down 51%). One other album arrived in the top 10: Incubus' "Monuments and Melodies," at No. 5 with 70,000.