Pentatonix spends a second week atop the Billboard 200 with A Pentatonix Christmas, as the set earned 101,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Dec. 29, 2016 -- the final tracking week of the calendar year.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Jan. 14, 2017-dated chart (where Pentatonix holds at No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Wednesday, Jan. 4 (one day later than normal, due to the New Year’s Day holiday on Jan. 1).
The closing tracking frame of 2016 includes the two days leading up to Christmas Day and the holiday itself, so it’s fitting that a Christmas album leads the tally. While A Pentatonix Christmas’ total units earned for the week were down by 51 percent, its traditional album sales were greater than any other album: it sold 82,000 copies (down 55 percent), far ahead of the No. 2 selling set of the week, Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic, with 55,000 copies (down 39 percent).
A Pentatonix Christmas' handsome sales, along with small declines in SEA and TEA (down 12 and 10 percent, respectively), helps keep the album ahead of the No. 2 set on the Billboard 200, The Weeknd’s former No. 1 Starboy. The latter climbs one rung with 94,000 units (down only 7 percent).
Mars’ 24K Magic dips one slot to No. 3 with 81,000 units (down 29 percent), while J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only is steady at No. 4 with 75,000 units (down 16 percent).
The original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton: An American Musical climbs two positions to No. 5 with 54,000 units (down 7 percent). This is the highest rank for the title in five months, since it also placed at No. 5 on the Aug. 6, 2016-dated list. The album has so far peaked at No. 3 (July 2, 2016), following its 11 Tony Award wins on June 12.
The soundtrack to the animated film Moana jumps 10-6 on the new chart with 53,000 units (up 4 percent), while Twenty One Pilots’ Blurryface vaults 15-7 with 52,000 units (up 37 percent). The latter album benefits from a $5.99 sale price in the Apple iTunes store, as well as promotion generated by the release of Twenty One Pilots’ new EP with MuteMath, The MuteMath Sessions, on Dec. 20. Overall sales of Blurryface were up by 23 percent to 33,000, while its download sales increased by a whopping 268 percent to 20,000.
Drake’s Views also rises, thanks to sale pricing, as it steps 19-8 with 49,000 units (up 48 percent). The album was discounted to $6.99 in the iTunes Store.
Pentatonix’s first full-length holiday album, 2014’s That’s Christmas to Me, retreats 5-9 with 42,000 units (down 45 percent). In the previous tracking week, the album surpassed 2 million in U.S. sales. Its total sales now stand at 2.05 million.
Rounding out the top 10 is the Suicide Squad soundtrack, as it rises 21-10 with 42,000 units (up 25 percent). The set is goosed by sales of the album’s hit single “Heathens” by Twenty One Pilots, which is bolstered by Christmas-related purchases (consumers redeeming digital gift cards and filling up newly acquired devices, etc.), as well as a just-released version of the track (found on The MuteMath Sessions EP). Track equivalent album units for the Suicide Squad soundtrack rally by 164 percent to 14,000.