The all-star Suicide Squad soundtrack roars in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, earning 182,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Aug. 11, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 128,000 were in traditional album sales — the best sales debut for a soundtrack in a year-and-a-half.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Aug. 27-dated chart (where Suicide Squad is No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, Aug. 16.
The Suicide Squad soundtrack was released on Aug. 5 (the same day as its parent film’s theatrical bow) through WaterTower Music/Atlantic Records. The album is the first No. 1 soundtrack in a year on the Billboard 200. A soundtrack last crowned the list on the Aug. 22, 2015-dated chart, when Disney Channel’s Descendants opened at No. 1. The last theatrical film soundtrack before Suicide Squad to top the list was Pitch Perfect 2, on the May 30, 2015 chart.
The Suicide Squad album — which features new recordings by Twenty One Pilots, Skrillex & Rick Ross, Panic! at the Disco and more — is also the top-selling album of the week, and bows at No. 1 on the Top Album Sales chart. Its start of 128,000 copies sold is the best sales frame for any album in a month, since Blink-182’s California launched with 172,000 sold (on the July 23-dated list).
Further, Suicide Squad posts the biggest debut sales week for a soundtrack in 18 months, since the Fifty Shades of Grey album launched at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with 210,000 sold (Feb. 28, 2015).
Of Suicide Squad’s total unit figure for the week — 182,000 — traditional album sales represent 70.5 percent. The rest of the sum is comprised of TEA (17.6 percent) and SEA (11.9 percent).
The album’s streaming equivalent album unit total for the week on the Billboard 200 was nearly 22,000 units, which equates to 32.6 million streams for the album’s tracks. That’s the largest streaming week for a soundtrack album, ever, on the chart. It handily beats the 10,000 SEA units (14.4 million streams) logged by the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack in its second chart week (March 7, 2015).
Below Suicide Squad on the new Billboard 200, Drake’s Views holds at No. 2 with 73,000 units (down 9 percent).
Rock band Skillet starts at No. 3 with Unleashed (62,000 units; 58,000 in pure album sales) — scoring the group its third top 10 album. The act has previously visited the top 10 with two more top five-charting sets: Rise in 2013 (No. 4) and Awake in 2009 (No. 2).
The new set also enters at No. 1 on the Top Christian Albums chart, giving Skillet its third chart-topper on that tally, following Rise and Awake.
Back on the Billboard 200, Blake Shelton’s If I’m Honest continues to climb thanks to a 99-cent sale tag in the Google Play music store, as the album vaults 9-4. It earned 49,000 units (up 72 percent) and 44,000 in album sales (up 93 percent).
The new Now 59 compilation debuts at No. 5 with 48,000 units — all from traditional album sales. The set continues the Now That’s What I Call Music brand’s hot streak in the top 10, as every one of the numbered Now albums in the main series have reached the top 10, from the very first Now album in 1998 up through Now 59. The series has also clocked top 10s with some of its genre-specific titles, like Now That’s What I Call Christmas, Now That’s What I Call Country and Now #1s.
Twenty One Pilots’ Blurryface slips 3-6 with 46,000 units (though it’s up 19 percent). Like Shelton’s album, Blurryface gains thanks to a 99-cent promotion in the Google Play store. Blurryface’s sales were up 53 percent for the week, rising to 25,000 copies sold.
Last week’s No. 1, DJ Khaled’s Major Key, drops to No. 7 in its second week, with 43,000 units (down 54 percent).
DJ Snake starts at No. 8 with with his debut album, Encore, earning 32,000 units (8,000 in pure album sales). Much of the album’s units are driven by TEA (13,000) and SEA (11,000), owed to the popularity of its song “Let Me Love You,” featuring Justin Bieber.