Britney Spears' new album, "Britney Jean," is the biggest new release of the week and it's heading for a high debut on Billboard 200 chart.
Industry sources forecast the album to sell between 115,000 and 120,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on Dec. 8. The new Billboard 200's top 10 will be revealed on Dec. 11.
Spears' last studio release, "Femme Fatale," in 2011, debuted at No. 1 with 276,000 in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Next week's No. 1 album will most likely be Garth Brooks' Walmart-exclusive box set "Blame It All On the Music" with perhaps 150,000. Spears could end up in the runner-up slot or perhaps at No. 3. It depends on how the Robertsons' "Duck the Halls" album performs through the weekend. It might sell between 110,000 and 120,000.
Country singer Jake Owen will probably be the next highest debut, as his new set "Days of Gold" could bow with 40,000. His last full-length album, "Barefoot Blue Jean Night," in 2011, debuted and peaked at No. 6 with 55,000 sold in its first week. "Days of Gold" might start somewhere in the Nos. 10-15 range on next week's tally.
After Owen, look for the TV soundtrack to NBC's live staging of "The Sound of Music" to debut in the top 20. The album, led by Carrie Underwood, might sell between 35,000 and 40,000. Its sales are powered by the high-rated broadcast that aired on Dec. 5. The three-hour show garnered 18.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen, and was the most-watched Thursday night for NBC (excluding sports programming) since 2004.
On SoundScan's Building chart (below), Spears is No. 1 and Brooks is No. 2. The Building tally is a precursor to the final Billboard 200 ranking, reflecting the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week as reported by six major merchants.
While Spears is in the lead at the present on the Building chart, Brooks will probably finish at No. 1 on the official Billboard 200 chart next week.
As for the rest of the top 10: Kelly Clarkson's "Wrapped In Red" is No. 3, followed by One Direction's "Midnight Memories" at No. 4. The Robertsons are at No. 5, Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" is No. 6 and Owen is No. 7. Mary J. Blige's "A Mary Christmas" is No. 8, with the soundtrack to "Frozen" at No. 9 and the "Now 48" album closing out the top 10.
|Nielsen SoundScan Building Chart|
|1||NEW||Britney Spears||"Britney Jean"|
|2||3||Garth Brooks||"Blame It On All My Roots"|
|3||6||Kelly Clarkson||"Wrapped In Red"|
|4||1||One Direction||"Midnight Memories"|
|5||4||The Robertsons||"Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas"|
|6||2||Eminem||"The Marshall Mathers LP 2"|
|7||NEW||Jake Owen||"Days of Gold"|
|8||15||Mary J. Blige||"A Mary Christmas"|
|10||10||Various Artists||"Now 48"|
|The Building Chart reflects the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week (which ends Sunday) as reported by six major merchants: iTunes, Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Starbucks, Target and Anderson Merchandisers. Billboard estimates that they make up about 85% of all U.S. album sales.|