On the heels of Lil Wayne’s 1 million-plus debut sales week with “Tha Carter III,” Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” (Capitol) will post similarly lofty numbers and bow at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 next week.
The set leads Nielsen SoundScan’s Building chart, released today (June 18), with unweighted first-day sales of 316,000 copies through the close of business yesterday.
That is the third-biggest Tuesday Building Chart number registered since Nielsen launched the tally last September. Only Kanye West’s “Graduation” (Roc-a-Fella/Def Jam) and Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III” (Cash Money/Universal Motown) racked up larger numbers, with 437,000 and 423,000, respectively.
A source close to the new album expects “Viva La Vida” to finish the week with a number in neighborhood of 700,000 to 750,000.
Coldplay’s last album, 2005’s “X&Y,” debuted at No. 1 with 737,000 in its first full week and spent three weeks atop The Billboard 200. In that first week, 8.4% of its sales were digital, but all signs point to a much greater first-week digital share for “Viva La Vida.”
Billboard estimates the nine merchants who report to Nielsen SoundScan’s Building chart — Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Circuit City, iTunes, Starbucks, Borders, Target, Anderson Merchandisers and Handleman Co. — comprise about 80% of all U.S. album sales.
If Coldplay’s album sells north of 700,000, it will be the first time since 2005 that the chart has housed back-to-back 700,000-plus sales weeks. It last happened when 50 Cent’s “The Massacre” cleared more than 700,000 in its first two weeks at No. 1, the first of those clearing the 1 million mark.
Other albums likely to make top high debuts on The Billboard 200 next week based on first-day numbers reflected on Nielsen SoundScan’s Building chart are the soundtrack to Disney Channel’s “Camp Rock” (Walt Disney), the Offspring’s “Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace” (Columbia) and Judas Priest’s “Nostradmus” (Epic).
Coldplay will also be No. 1 for the first time in its career on tomorrow’s Billboard Hot 100 chart with “Viva La Vida.” The song shifts 246,000 downloads in its third week atop Hot Digital Songs and continues to build at multiple radio formats, holding top 20 rankings at Adult Top 40 (No. 15) and Modern Rock (No. 16).
Capitol has even more reason to celebrate, as the label’s Katy Perry will move 4-2 with Greatest Gainer/Airplay honors on the Hot 100 for “I Kissed a Girl.” This will mark the first time that Capitol has had the top two slots on the Hot 100 in the same week since Billboard’s Sept. 2, 1967 issue, when the label had Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode To Billie Joe” at No. 1 and the Beatles’ “All You Need is Love” as the runner up.
In other Coldplay news, the group has tapped Santogold as the opening act for most of its North American tour, which begins July 14 in Los Angeles.