On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Dec. 26), Adele’s 25 crowns the tally for a third straight week. It earned another 728,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Dec. 10, according to Nielsen Music. It was down 37 percent in total units for the week.
Of its weekly sum, 695,000 were in pure album sales. That’s a larger than expected figure, as industry forecasters were expecting it to sell around 650,000.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Dec. 26-dated chart (where Adele is No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
This is 25’s third week of selling in excess of 650,000 copies -- the first time an album has sold more than 650,000 in each of its first three frames since Nielsen Music began tracking sales in 1991. Four earlier albums managed to sell 650,000 in at least three different weeks, but none were in their first three frames. The last titles to notch three (or more) weeks over 650,000 were The Beatles’ 1 and Backstreet Boys’ Black & Blue, both on the chart dated Jan. 6, 2001.
With 25’s third week sales of 695,000, the album’s total sales climb to 5.19 million. It is now the largest selling album of any calendar year since 2011, when Adele’s previous album, 21, sold 5.82 million. (25 is also the only album to sell 5 million copies in a calendar year since 2011.)
25 is also one of only 11 albums released since 2005 to sell 5 million copies in total.
With three weeks left during the sales tracking year of 2015, it seems likely that 25 will surpass 6 million in sales by Dec. 31 (the final day of the final tracking week of 2015). The last album to sell 6 million in a calendar year was Usher’s Confessions in 2004, with 7.98 million.
At No. 2 on the new Billboard 200 chart is the list’s top debut, Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams. The set earned 210,000 units (of which 195,000 were in pure album sales).
It’s the sixth straight top five-charting studio album for the British band, and their fifth consecutive title to reach the top two. The act's previous four releases all debuted at No. 1. The group most recently led the list with 2014’s Ghost Stories, which bowed with 383,000 copies sold.
Coldplay debuted on the Billboard 200 nearly exactly 15 years ago, on the list dated Dec. 30, 2000. That week, the band's debut album, Parachutes, arrived at No. 189, on its way to a No. 51 peak on March 17, 2001.
G-Eazy’s When It’s Dark Out arrives at No. 5 with 132,000 units (103,000 in pure album sales), giving the hip-hop artist his second top five album. It follows 2014’s These Things Happen (No. 3 debut and peak, from a 46,000 sales start).
The new album also launches at No. 1 on both the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Rap Albums charts, his second leader on both tallies, following These Things Happen.
Back on the new Billboard 200, Rick Ross’ Black Market bows at No. 6 with 65,000 units (54,000 in album sales). His previous set, 2014’s Hood Billionaire, bowed at No. 2 with 74,000 sold. (Note: Black Market's debut unit figure, and sales figure, were updated at 4:30 pm ET on Dec. 13.)
Black Market is Ross’ ninth straight major label album to reach the top 10 -- all of which have debuted in the region. The rapper's debut effort, Port of Miami, set sail at No. 1 on the list dated Aug. 26, 2006.
Troye Sivan’s debut full-length album, Blue Neighbourhood, starts at No. 7 on the new Billboard 200 with 65,000 units (55,000 in album sales). It’s his third top 10 album, and follows two earlier introductory EPs: TRXYE in 2014 and Wild in 2015, both of which debuted and peaked at No. 5.
Rounding out the top 10 are One Direction’s Made in the A.M. (4-8 with 60,000 units; down 26 percent), Chris Stapleton’s Traveller (11-9 with 51,000 units; up 31 percent) and The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness (6-10 with 49,000 units; down 17 percent).