Another 'Musical' showstopper
Sequel's soundtrack posts 2nd-biggest sales week of '07The soundtrack to "High School Musical 2" bows at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with the second-biggest first-week sales tally of the year.
The Walt Disney Records set sold 615,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan figures for the week ending Aug. 19, only a few thousand short of the 623,000 that Linkin Park's "Minutes to Midnight" moved in June. Only three other soundtracks have moved more units in a week since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991: Eminem's "8 Mile," "Titanic" and "The Bodyguard."
The telefilm's premiere Friday on Disney Channel was the most-watched program in basic cable history.
"I think we definitely knew it was going to do well, just because the first one did so well and there were so many fans," Corbin Bleu, who plays amiable jock Chad Danforth, said in an interview. "We knew all the people that enjoyed the first movie were gonna want to see the second movie. (But) we didn't know it was gonna become as much of a phenomenon."
The first "High School Musical" soundtrack was the top-selling album of 2006, having topped the chart numerous times, and has sold 4.1 million copies to date.
A new episode of "Hannah Montana" aired directly after "Musical 2," helping Miley Cyrus' Walt Disney/Hollywood double-disc set "Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus" rise two spots to No. 2 with 83,000, a 10% increase in sales.
Another double-disc set enters right behind as Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds' RCA effort "Live at Radio City" bows at No. 3 with 70,000. The set also crowns the rock, alternative and Internet album charts. It is the second collaboration between Matthews and Reynolds to earn Billboard 200 ink, following "Live at Luther College," which debuted and peaked at No. 2 with 187,000 in February 1999.
The "Now 25" hits compilation slips one rung to No. 4 with 66,000, while the New Line soundtrack to "Hairspray" climbs one spot to No. 5 with 63,000.
After debuting at No. 1 last week, UGK's Jive set "Underground Kingz" slips to No. 6 with 60,000. Fergie's "The Dutchess" (will.i.am/A&M/Interscope) climbs a notch to No. 7 with 53,000 in its 48th chart week.
The Jonas Brothers' self-titled sophomore effort falls three places to No. 8 with 41,000. Plies' Slip-N-Slide debut "Real Testament" descends seven spots to No. 9 with 39,000, while Common's "Finding Forever" (Geffen) dips three positions to No. 10, also with 39,000.
Among the other notable debuts: "Cexcells," from AFI side project Blaqk Audio (No. 18, 29,000, Interscope), and Dean Martin's "Forever Cool" (No. 39, 17,000, Capitol).
Katie Hasty is an online editor at Billboard.com.