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‘Dark Knight Rises’ Soundtrack Flying Towards Top 10 on Billboard 200

The superhero film's score could mark the first top 10 for a "Batman" soundtrack since 1997.

The blockbuster film “The Dark Knight Rises” may not only take over the weekend box office, but also Billboard’s music charts.

The film’s score soundtrack album, by Hans Zimmer, may debut in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 next week. Industry sources say the set is on course to sell around 25,000 to 30,000 copies by week’s end on Sunday, July 22.

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The new Billboard 200’s top 10 will be revealed on the morning of Wednesday, July 25.

The Water Tower Records album could mark the first top 10 album from a “Batman” film since the 1997 “Batman & Robin” soundtrack flew to No. 5. That album sported hit singles by Smashing Pumpkins (“The End Is the Beginning Is the End”), Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (“Look Into My Eyes”), R. Kelly (“Gotham City”) and Goo Goo Dolls (“Lazy Eye”).

As for the rest of the top 10 next week, look for Nas to secure his sixth No. 1 album, as “Life Is Good” should bow with around 125,000 to 135,000 copies. Zac Brown Band‘s current No. 1, “Uncaged,” will likely fall to No. 2 with perhaps 70,000.

Frank Ocean‘s “Channel Orange,” which debuted at No. 2 this past week off of mostly iTunes-only sales, will probably spend a second week in the top five. Now available at all retailers (except Target), the set might sell around 45,000 in its second frame. (The set was released a week early, on July 10, to iTunes.)

As “Channel Orange” moved 131,000 in its debut week, it begs the question: Was Ocean denied a No. 1 album by the early iTunes release?

We can’t say for sure if “Channel Orange” would have sold 131,000 (or more) this week had it come out July 17. But, if it had, that would have put it into a race with Nas for the No. 1 slot.

On Nielsen SoundScan’s Building chart (below), Ocean is No. 4 while Nas and Zac Brown Band are at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. The Building tally is a precursor to the final Billboard 200 ranking — reflecting the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan’s tracking week as reported by six major merchants.

The new “Kidz Bop 22” set is No. 3 while One Direction’s “Up All Night” hangs in at No. 5. Justin Bieber’s “Believe” is No. 6, Adele’s “21” holds down the No. 7 slot and the “Dark Knight Rises” soundtrack is perched at No. 8. Rounding out the top 10 are Maroon 5’s “Overexposed” at No. 9 and Chris Brown’s “Fortune” at No. 10.

Nielsen SoundScan Building Chart
Rank LW
BB 200
Artist Title
1 NEW Nas “Life Is Good”
2 1 Zac Brown Band “Uncaged”
3 NEW Kidz Bop Kids “Kidz Bop 22”
4 2 Frank Ocean “Channel Orange”
5 7 One Direction “Up All Night”
6 3 Justin Bieber “Believe”
7 8 Adele “21”
8 NEW Soundtrack “The Dark Knight Rises”
9 5 Maroon 5 “Overexposed”
10 4 Chris Brown “Fortune”
The Building Chart reflects the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan’s tracking week (which ends Sunday) as reported by six major merchants: iTunes, Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Starbucks, Target and Anderson Merchandisers. Billboard estimates that they make up about 85% of all U.S. album sales.