On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Jan. 7), Pentatonix notched its second No. 1 album with A Pentatonix Christmas, as the holiday effort rose from No. 2 to No. 1 with 206,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Dec. 22, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 185,000 were in traditional album sales, which brings the set’s total sales to 824,000.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the week’s most popular albums based on their overall consumption. That overall unit figure combines pure album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the latest Billboard 200 chart:
— Pentatonix, That’s Christmas to Me - No. 5 — Pentatonix has found great success with its holiday recordings. Its new album, A Pentatonix Christmas, sits at No. 1, while its previous full-length holiday set, 2014’s That’s Christmas to Me, peaked at No. 2 and just surpassed 2 million in total U.S. sales. It sold another 61,000 copies in the week ending Dec. 22, which brings its cumulative sum to 2.02 million.
That’s Christmas to Me holds at No. 5 on the latest Billboard 200 chart, earning 78,000 units (up 20 percent).
Pentatonix has a third holiday set, the EP PTXmas, which was released in 2012. It has so far peaked at No. 7 on the chart, and has sold 500,000 copies. That’s Christmas to Me, A Pentatonix Christmas and PTXmas are the vocal group’s three top-selling albums. The act’s next-biggest seller is their 2015 No. 1 self-titled album (not a Christmas set), which has sold 483,000.
In total, the group has sold 4.5 million albums in the U.S. since its debut set, PTX: Volume 1, was released in June of 2012.
— Original Broadway Cast Recording, Hamilton: An American Musical - No. 7 — The original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton continues to sell strongly, as its total sales rise to 951,000. That sum moves it up from No. 10 to No. 9 on the list of the best-selling cast recordings since Nielsen Music began tracking sales in 1991. (It jumps ahead of the original London cast recording of Les Miserables, which is pushed from No. 9 to No. 10 with 914,000 sold since 1991. The album was released in 1986.)
— Soundtrack, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - No. 29 — The film’s soundtrack arrives at No. 29 with 23,000 units (21,000 from traditional album sales). The new movie is set in the Star Wars cinematic universe, but it’s not part of the main Star Wars saga of films. The Star Wars saga has launched seven films thus far, and its most recent release was 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The latter movie’s companion album debuted and peaked at No. 5 in January 2016.
The Force Awakens was the sixth Star Wars film soundtrack to reach the top 10. Of the seven main Star Wars saga films, 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.)
— Nine Inch Nails, Not the Actual Events (EP) - No. 31 — The album debuts on the chart from just one day of digital sales, on Dec. 22, with 22,000 sold. The set went on sale via the band’s official website on Dec. 22, and then became widely available on Dec. 23, so we should see a big jump for the album on the Jan. 14-dated list, as that chart reflects the tracking week of Dec. 23-Dec. 29.
— Adele, 21 - No. 81 — The diva’s second album -- and former No. 1 -- jumps back into the top 100, rising 103-81 (13,000 units; up 37 percent), for a 247th nonconsecutive week in the top 100. That’s the second-most weeks within the top 100 since 1963, when the chart combined its former separate stereo and mono albums charts into one overall ranking. The album with the most weeks in the top 100 is Metallica’s self-titled album, with 269 weeks in the region.