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‘Frozen’ Soundtrack Storms to Top Of Billboard 200

The soundtrack to Disney's "Frozen" blows into the No. 1 slot on the Billboard 200, selling 165,000 copies in the week ending Jan. 5, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The soundtrack to Disney’s “Frozen” blows into the No. 1 slot on the Billboard 200, selling 165,000 copies in the week ending Jan. 5, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It rises from No. 4 last week and earns a 55% gain in sales.

“Frozen” marks the first soundtrack to reach No. 1 in a year, since “Les Misérables” rose to No. 1 on the Jan. 19, 2013, chart. (That chart reflected the sales week that ended Jan. 6, mirroring how this week’s chart reflects the week ending Jan. 5, 2014.)

“Frozen” bumps Beyoncé’s self-titled album from the No. 1 position, down to No. 2 in its fourth chart week, with 130,000 (down 58%). “Beyoncé” spent its first three weeks at No. 1, and has now sold 1.43 million. This week, total sales for the album also surpass that of the diva’s previous album, “4,” which was released in 2011 and has sold 1.39 million.

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“Frozen” climbs to the top courtesy of the movie’s continued strong showing at the box office, along with sale pricing for the set last week in the iTunes Store. The music-filled movie topped the U.S. and Canada box offices during the Jan. 3-5 weekend, and has earned $298 million, according to Box Office Mojo. It’s currently the fourth-highest-grossing film released in 2013.

The soundtrack has grown in sales every week since its debut at No. 18 on the Dec. 14, 2013, chart. Its cumulative sales have now passed the half-million mark, as its additional 165,000 this week bring its total to 503,000.

“Frozen” is just the fourth animated film soundtrack to reach No. 1 since the Billboard 200 became a regularly published weekly chart in 1956. It follows Jack Johnson’s “Curious George” (2006), and Disney’s “Pocahontas” (1995) and “The Lion King” (1994).

Few new albums were released last week, so there’s very little action in terms of debuts on the Billboard 200 this week. The highest new entry is down at No. 58, where Jim Brickman’s “The Magic of Christmas” bows with 6,000 (up 38%). The set isn’t new to market, however, as it was released in October. The holiday effort appears on the list this week, with a gain, thanks to deep discounting at Target stores. (It’s the only brick-and-mortar retailer to carry the CD.)

Back in the top 10 this week: Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” holds at No. 3 with 55,000 (down 55%), Katy Perry’s “PRISM” rises 5-4 with 51,000 (down 48%), and Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” climbs 7-5 with 46,000 (down 40%). One Direction’s “Midnight Memories” slides 2-6 with 45,000 (down 68%), and Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party” zips 14-7 with 43,000 (down a relatively mild 19%).

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OneRepublic’s “Native” returns to the top 10 for the first time since its debut week (back in April 2013), as it steps 19-8 with 35,000 (down 3%). The “Now 48” collection steps 12-9 with 34,000 (down 42%) and Imagine Dragons’ “Night Visions” closes out the top 10, moving 9-10 with 31,000 (down 50%).

Overall album sales were down 43% this past week, so any title that shows a moderate decline actually moves up the chart. Thus, Bryan and OneRepublic—down just 19% and 4%, respectively—return to the top 10. (“Frozen” is the only album among the top 20 on the chart to post a gain in sales this week.)

On the Digital Songs chart, Pitbull’s “Timber,” featuring Ke$ha, reigns at No. 1 for another week with 301,000 (down 32%). A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera’s “Say Something” rises 4-2 with 241,000 (down 32%).

OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars” is steady at No. 3 with 237,000 (down 42%), and Perry’s “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J, trots 7-4 with 229,000 (down 20%).

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Eminem’s “The Monster,” featuring Rihanna, slides 2-5 with 220,000 (down 49%); Passenger’s “Let Her Go” rises 8-6 with 184,000 (down 34%); and Lorde’s “Royals” slips 5-7 with 183,000 (down 40%). One Direction’s “Story of My Life” is up 9-8 with 158,000 (down 40%), Perry’s “Roar” moves 10-9 with 157,000 (down 39%), and Avicii’s “Wake Me Up!” ascends 11-10 with 141,000 (down 28%).

On the 50-position Digital Songs chart, only three songs earn an increase in sales over the previous week. Nearly all titles decline, following last week’s blockbuster post-Christmas sales week, which normally sees a surge in sales for digital songs thanks to the redemption of newly acquired digital gift cards. (Total song sales for the week ending Jan. 5 were down by 29%, while in the previous week, they rallied by 98%.)

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Jan. 5) totaled 5.4 million units, down 43% compared with the sum last week (9.4 million) and down 14% compared with the comparable sales week of 2013 (6.3 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 30.6 million downloads, down 29% compared with last week (43.1 million) and down 11% stacked next to the comparable week of 2013 (34.5 million).

Next week’s Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2013 when: Chris Tomlin’s “Burning Lights” debuted at No. 1 with 76,000, while Hollywood Undead’s “Notes From the Underground” started at No. 2 with 53,000. The previous week’s leader, the “Les Misérables” soundtrack, fell to No. 3 with 52,000 (down 44%).