50 Cent’s “The Massacre” makes history with the largest sales total by far of any title with a shortened release week. The Shady/Aftermath/Interscope album moved 1.14 million copies within a four-day window in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. As previously reported, the street date was accelerated from March 8 to the off-cycle date of March 3.
Billboard.biz did not hear reports of chains selling “Massacre” until the afternoon of March 2, a much tidier rollout than the off-cycle releases in November of last year that brought 50 Cent labelmate Eminem’s “Encore” and Destiny’s Child’s “Destiny Fulfilled” (Columbia/Sony Music) to market in the same week.
The previous record for an abbreviated first week was held by 50 Cent’s first Interscope distributed album, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” which began with 872,000 in February 2003. The set stood as the largest Nielsen SoundScan week of that year.
The opening total of “Massacre” also stands as the sixth largest opening week since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991. This is also the largest sales week since 2002, when “The Eminem Show” rang 1.32 million in its first full sales week after an accelerated release during Memorial Day weekend.