Adele’s 25 locks up its third million-selling week in the U.S., as the set sold 1.16 million in pure album sales in the week ending Dec. 24, according to Nielsen Music (up 47 percent). That’s the five-week old set’s second-biggest frame yet, following its 3.38 million bow in the week ending Nov. 26. (Note: This story was revised on Dec. 28, after Nielsen updated 25's sales figure for the week from 1.15 million to 1.16 million.)
A surge in sales in the week leading up to Christmas (Dec. 25) was expected, as consumers rush to make last-minute holiday purchases. Also aiding 25's sales in the most recent tracking week: the frame captured a full seven days through Dec. 24. Nielsen Music's tracking week runs from Friday through Thursday, and Christmas Eve fell on a Thursday this year. (Usually, the tracking week will end a day or two before Christmas -- or after the holiday, thus lessening the impact of the week-before-Christmas sales frame.)
25 also sold more than a million in its second week on sale, when it shifted 1.11 million. 25 was already the first album to sell a million copies in two different weeks, and now it’s the first to score three million-selling frames.
25’s total U.S. album sales, through Dec. 24, now stand at 7.13 million.
Unsurprisingly, 25 also easily earns a fifth straight week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, with 1.19 million equivalent album units.
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 Jan. 9, 2016-dated chart (where Adele is No. 1 for a fifth frame) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, Dec. 29.
Elsewhere on the Billboard 200, Justin Bieber’s Purpose stays steady at No. 2 with 229,000 units (up 38 percent). Of that sum, 153,000 were in pure album sales (up 53 percent).
Chris Brown’s new Royalty album clocks the top debut of the week, bowing at No. 3 with 184,000 units (162,000 in pure album sales).
In terms of straight sales, Royalty nets Brown his largest sales week since his 2011, when his F.A.M.E. album started at No. 1 with 270,000 sold.
Royalty is Brown’s eighth consecutive top 10 album (and all of his releases have made the top 10). It follows his collaborative album Fan of a Fan: The Album (with Tyga) earlier in 2015, which debuted and peaked at No. 7 (with 51,000 sold in its first week). Previous to that, Brown released the solo set X in 2014, which bowed and peaked at No. 2 (145,000 sold first week).
Pentatonix’s That’s Christmas to Me dips one position to No. 4 (140,000 units; down less than 1 percent).
The soundtrack to Star Wars: The Force Awakens beams in at No. 5 with 100,000 units (94,000 in pure album sales). The companion set to the mega-successful new movie is the highest debut for a score-only soundtrack since 1999, when Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, started at No. 3.
The Force Awakens is the seventh film in the main Star Wars film series, and its soundtrack is the sixth to reach the top 10. (Only Return of the Jedi, in 1983, missed the region. It peaked at No. 20.)
While the Star Wars series produced six top 10 albums, none have reached No. 1. The closest the series came was with the first film, Star Wars, which saw its album spend three consecutive weeks at No. 2 in 1977. (It was stuck behind Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, which ruled the list for 31 nonconsecutive weeks.)
Back on the new Billboard 200, One Direction’s Made in the A.M. slips 4-6 with 92,000 units (up 38 percent), Chris Stapleton’s Traveller falls 6-7 with 87,000 units (up 41 percent), Taylor Swift’s 1989 ascends 9-8 with 73,000 units (up 49 percent) and The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness falls 5-9 with 72,000 units (up 13 percent). Adele’s 21 closes out the top 10, holding at No. 10, with 71,000 units (up 46 percent).