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‘Now 49’ Bumps ‘Frozen’ From No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart

After a two-week rule of the No. 1 slot on the Billboard 200 albums chart -- and four weeks atop the list overall -- the "Frozen" soundtrack steps aside, letting the new "Now 49" hits compilation…

After a two-week rule of the No. 1 slot on the Billboard 200 — and four weeks atop the list overall — the “Frozen” soundtrack steps aside, letting the new “Now 49” hits compilation open atop the list.

“Now 49” debuts with 98,000 copies sold in the week ending Feb. 9, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Meanwhile, “Frozen” slips to No. 2 with 88,000 (down 6%).

“Now 49” is just the 24th various-artists compilation to reach No. 1 since the Billboard 200became a regularly published weekly chart in 1956. Of the 24 compilations to rule the list, 17 of them were “Now” albums. (However, the last non-“Now” compilation at No. 1 did happen to have the word “Now” in its title: the charity set “Hope for Haiti Now” in February 2010.)


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“Now 49” is also the first No. 1 for the long-running “Now That’s What I Call Music!” series since “Now 43,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Aug. 25, 2012, chart.

All 49 of the regular (numbered) “Now” albums have reached the top 10, and all but the first debuted in the top 10. The last “Now” set, “Now 48,” debuted at No. 3 with 114,000 sold in November. The “Now” series has also scored top 10s with five of its non-numbered titles: “Now That’s What I Call Christmas!” (No. 3 in 2001), “Now #1’s” (No. 6, 2006), “Now That’s What I Call Christmas! 3” (No. 10, 2006), “Now That’s What I Call Country” (No. 7, 2008) and “Now That’s What I Call Country Vol. 2” (No. 10, 2009).

The milestone “Now 50” compilation is scheduled for release on May 6. A track list has not been announced.

The debut of “Now 49” comes almost exactly 15 years after the first “Now” album reached the top 10 on the Billboard 200 (on the chart dated Jan. 23, 1999).

As for “Frozen,” its cumulative sales increase to 952,000 this week, after 11 weeks in release. At its current sales rate, it should surpass 1 million next week.

Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” climbs 7-3 with 81,000 (up 92%) in the wake of the first full week of impact after his Super Bowl halftime performance on Feb. 2. His first album, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” just misses re-entering the top 10 as it glides 19-11 with 26,000 (up 58%).

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The last time a Super Bowl halftime performer was in the top 10 the week after the big game was in 2009. That year, Bruce Springsteen’s brand-new “Working On a Dream” fell from No. 1 to No. 2 in the week after the game — the album’s second week on the chart. The album was released the Tuesday before the Super Bowl, and debuted at No. 1 with 224,000. It then sold 102,000 in the week after the game.

Rather excitingly, this is the first post-game week where an older album by a halftime performer has been in the top 10 since 2003. The week after the game that year, Shania Twain’s”Up!” jumped back into the top 10, rising 12-8 with 67,000 (up 41%). (Twain co-headlined the show that year with No Doubt.)

At No. 4 on the Billboard 200 this week is the chart’s second-highest debut: Toni Braxton & Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds’ “Love, Marriage & Divorce” with 67,000. The album starts stronger than expected, as last week industry sources had forecasted the set to start with perhaps 60,000.

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It’s the highest-chartingalbum for Braxton since her “Libra” also debuted (and peaked) at No. 4 in 2005 and the highest-charting album ever for Babyface. The latter has visited the top 10 twice before, going as high as No. 6 with 1996’s “The Day.”

Broken Bells and Little Mix are up next in the Billboard 200’s top 10, as their latest efforts start atNos. 5 and 6, respectively.

Broken Bells’ “After the Disco” bows with 44,000, while Little Mix’s “Salute” starts with 43,000. It’s the second album, and second top 10 set, for both acts. BrokenBells’ self-titled debut reached No. 7 in 2010 (49,000 first week) and Little Mix’s debut, “DNA,” launched at No. 4 in 2013 (50,000 first week).

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As for the rest of the top 10 this week: Beyonce’s self-titled album dips 5-7 with 38,000 (down 20%), Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” falls 3-8 with a little more than 35,000 (down 48%), the “2014 Grammy Nominees” compilation tumbles 2-9 with 35,000 (down 60%), and Katy Perry’s “PRISM” descends 9-10 with 27,000 (down 12%).

Over on the Digital Songs chart, Perry’s “Dark Horse” continues to reign at No. 1, though it has a significant drop in sales. The song sold 291,000 downloads in the most recent tracking week, down 22%. The sales erosion is owed to how the song earned a big 27% gain a week ago, following Perry’s performance on the Jan. 26 Grammy Awards. Without the awards show exposure this week, the song’s sales naturally decline.

Pharrell’s Oscar-nominated “Happy,” meanwhile, continues to gain, as it climbs 3-2 with 252,000 (up 15%). Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty,” featuring 2 Chainz, is pushed back 2-3 despite a gain of 3%. (It sold 242,000 last week.) Passenger’s “Let Her Go” steps 5-4 with 182,000 (up 3%). A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera’s “Say Something” is up 6-5 with 171,000 (up 12%).

Idina Menzel’s “Let It Go” flies 16-6 with 138,000 (up 28%) — the song’s second-largest sales week. It only sold more during Christmas week, when it shifted 153,000 downloads. Bastille’s “Pompeii” is up two rungs to No. 7 with 131,000 (down 6%); Pitbull’s “Timber,” featuring Ke$ha, is steady at No. 8 with 130,000 (down 9%); and Aloe Blacc’s “The Man” rises 13-9 with 125,000 (down 3%). Lorde’s “Team” rounds out the top 10, as it ascends 12-10 with 113,000 (down 13%).

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Feb. 2) totaled 4.5 million units, down 3% compared with the sum last week (4.6 million) and down 22% compared with the comparable sales week of 2013 (5.8 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 27.5 million, down 15% compared with the same total at this point last year (32.3 million).

Digital track sales this past week totaled 23.6 million downloads, down 1% compared with last week (23.8 million) and down 14% stacked next to the comparable week of 2013 (27.3 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 151.4 million, down 11% compared with the same total at this point last year (171 million).

Next week’s Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2013 when: the week after the Grammy Awards, Mumford & Sons’ “Babel,” which won album of the year, returned to No. 1, selling 185,000 (up 242%).