One Direction's new album "Midnight Memories" is easily heading for No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart with a robust sales start.
Industry sources forecast the album to sell 500,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, Dec. 1. The album -- which was released on Monday, Nov. 25 -- has a possibility of reaching the 525,000 to 550,000 range. The number is a bit hard to pin down, thanks to the marketplace being thrown for a loop by the Thanksgiving holiday, Black Friday-related promotions and holiday shopping festivities.
That said, a start north of 500,000 for "Midnight Memories" would likely give the group its third No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, following its first two chart-topping albums: "Up All Night" and "Take Me Home."
Both of those sets were released in 2012, and debuted at No. 1. The former sold 176,000 in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan, while the latter opened with 540,000.
The new Billboard 200 chart's top 10 will be revealed on the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Amazingly, if One Direction debuts at No. 1, they'll become the first group since the Monkees in 1967 to reach No. 1 with their first three albums.
It's a fitting chart feat, since both acts were born on TV. One Direction was formed on the 2010 edition of the U.K. TV talent show "The X Factor," and saw their debut album bow in their home country the following year.
On the most recent Billboard 200, Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" returned to the No. 1 slot shifting 120,000 copies in for its second week at the top for the set, which stepped aside last week to let Lady Gaga's "ARTPOP" open atop the list.