The "Frozen" soundtrack is about to meet "Titanic" in the history books.
Industry sources forecast the "Frozen" album to sell around 85,000 copies in the tracking week ending on Sunday, February 23. That could be enough to secure the No. 1 slot on next week's Billboard 200 -- for the album's fifth nonconsecutive week atop the list. (Eric Church's "The Outsiders" might end up No. 2, with 80,000.)
The new Billboard 200's top 10 will be revealed on Wednesday, February 26.
The last soundtrack to rule for five weeks was the "Titanic" album in 1998, which spent 16 straight weeks at No. 1. It jumped from No. 11 to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart dated Jan. 24, 1998, and then reigned through the May 9 chart.
"Titanic" had such a stranglehold on the chart in 1998, it blocked a trio of superstars from the top slot. Madonna ("Ray of Light"), Pearl Jam ("Yield") and George Strait ("One Step At a Time") all had to settle for No. 2 debuts (and peaks) behind "Titanic" that year.
Since Nielsen SoundScan began powering the Billboard 200 chart on May 25, 1991, only four soundtracks have spent at least five weeks at No. 1. "Titanic," "Waiting to Exhale" (five weeks in 1996), "The Lion King" (10 weeks in 1994 and 1995) and "The Bodyguard" (20 weeks in 1992 and 1993).
At the present, "Frozen" is one of five soundtracks to spend four weeks at No. 1 in the SoundScan era. The last soundtrack to net four weeks at No. 1 was "Bad Boys II" in 2003.
This past week (ending February 16), "Frozen" became only the second soundtrack since 2010 to sell a million copies. It follows the "Pitch Perfect" soundtrack, which reached 1 million in December. Before that, the last soundtrack set to hit a million was "Michael Jackson's This Is It" in December of 2009.
The "Frozen" soundtrack is currently in its 12th week on the Billboard 200 chart, and has spent the last seven straight weeks lodged in the top two positions on the chart. This past week, it was No. 2, behind Church's arriving "The Outsiders."
On Wednesday (Feb. 19), it was initially thought that Church would secure a second week at No. 1. However, industry projections changed over the past two days, giving the edge for next week's No. 1 to "Frozen." Of course, anything is possible, so don't rule out a late-in-the-game charge from Church over the weekend.
As for the rest of next week's Billboard 200 chart, look for Cole Swindell to notch the highest new entry. His self-titled debut album might sell around 60,000 or so for a debut in the top five. The top 10 could also welcome new efforts from Phantogram and Issues.
On SoundScan's Building chart (below), Swindell is No. 1, followed by the "Frozen" soundtrack. 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.
The rest of the Building chart's top 10: Church is No. 3, followed by the "Now 49" compilation, Beyonce's self-titled album and Lorde's "Pure Heroine" at Nos. 4-6, respectively. Issues' self-titled album is No. 7, Phantogram's "Voices" is No. 8 and Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox" is No. 9. Katy Perry's "PRISM" closes out the top 10, at No. 10.
|Nielsen SoundScan Building Chart|
|1||NEW||Cole Swindell||"Cole Swindell"|
|3||1||Eric Church||"The Outsiders"|
|4||3||Various Artists||"Now 49"|
|9||5||Bruno Mars||"Unorthodox Jukebox"|
|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.|