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The Hunger Games soundtrack debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, having sold 175,000 copies in its first week according to Nielsen SoundScan.
It’s the first theatrical film soundtrack to top the chart since Michael Jackson’s This Is It bowed at No. 1 on the list dated Nov. 14, 2009. The Hunger Games is the first multi-artist film soundtrack to reach No. 1 since one week before Jackson, when The Twilight Saga: New Moon rose from No. 2 to No. 1 in its second week on the tally.
All told, The Hunger Games is only the 16th soundtrack to debut at No. 1 in the history of the Billboard 200 chart. (Those soundtracks include film, TV and straight-to-video efforts.)
The Hunger Games set boasts an array of artists, including Taylor Swift, the Civil Wars, Arcade Fire, Maroon 5 and Miranda Lambert. It’s the companion album to the film of the same name, which grossed $152.5 million at the U.S. and Canada box office last weekend (March 23-25).
As for the rest of the Billboard 200’s top 10, The Hunger Games is the first of five debuts in the region. The next-highest debut is the Shins‘ Port of Morrow, which enters at No. 3 with 75,000. (It trails Adele‘s former No. 1, 21, at No. 2 with 130,000 — down 12%). The Shins’ last album, Wincing the Night Away, launched at No. 2 with 118,000 in 2007.
Last week’s No. 1 album, One Direction‘s Up All Night, slips to No. 4 with 55,000 (down 69%) while Odd Future‘s debut studio set, The OF Tape Vol. 2, debuts at No. 5 with 40,000.
Bruce Springsteen‘s Wrecking Ball falls 4-6 with 37,000 (down 35%) and Melanie Fiona‘s second album The MF Life bows at No. 7 with 34,000. Her first, The Bridge, debuted at No. 128 with a 4,000 start in late 2009, but eventually climbed to a No. 27 peak on March 13, 2010.
The Now 41 compilation holds at No. 8 (31,000; up 7%) and Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits falls 6-9 with 28,000 (down 37%). Esperanza Spalding‘s Radio Music Society finishes the top 10 — debuting at No. 10 — with 25,000. She had previously gone as high as No. 34 in early 2011 with Chamber Music Society, following her surprise win for best new artist at that year’s Grammy Awards.
Over on the Digital Songs chart, fun.‘s “We Are Young” (featuring Janelle Monae) claims a sixth week at No. 1, selling 387,000 downloads (up 11%). That is the best sales week for a non-debuting song since LMFAO‘s “Sexy and I Know It” sold 417,000 downloads in the week after Christmas.
Most songs see a huge sales week either in their debut week, during Christmas time or right after the Grammy Awards. However, “We Are Young” saw its massive 387,000 sales frame without any of those aids. Since SoundScan began tracking download sales in 2003, only one song has had a larger week that wasn’t caused by a debut, Christmas or the Grammys. That was when Flo Rida‘s “Right Round” sold 460,000 in its second week on the chart — March 7, 2009.
Finally, “We Are Young” is now the year’s top selling song with 2.39 million sold. It has surpassed 2011’s No. 2-seller, Kelly Clarkson‘s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” (2.25 million).
Back in the top 10 this week, Gotye‘s “Somebody That I Used To Know” (featuring Kimbra), rises 4-2 on Digital Songs with 208,000 (up 25%) and the Wanted‘s “Glad You Came” slips 2-3 (though up in sales) with 183,000 (up less than 1%).
Taylor Swift’s “Eyes Open,” from The Hunger Games soundtrack, debuts at No. 4 with 176,000. That’s her best sales week for a song since “Back to December” started at No. 1 with 242,000 on Oct. 20, 2010.
Nicki Minaj‘s “Starships” is pushed down 3-5 (174,000; up 1%), Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” (featuring Sia) holds at No. 6 (168,000; up 6%) and One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” is steady at No. 7 (164,000; up 21%).
Clarkson’s “Stronger” falls 5-8 (151,000; down 7%) and Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe” is a non-mover at No. 9 (138,000; up 12%). Closing out the top 10 is Train‘s “Drive By,” down two rungs to No. 10, with 125,000 (down less than 1%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending March 25) totaled 5.46 million units, down 3% compared to the sum last week (5.64 million) and down 16% compared to the comparable sales week of 2011 (6.48 million). Year to date album sales stand at 71.68 million, up 1% compared to the same total at this point last year (71.20 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 25.68 million downloads, up 2% compared to last week (25.22 million) and up 4% stacked next to the comparable week of 2011 (24.78 million). Year to date track sales are at 334.70 million, up 6% compared to the same total at this point last year (314.59 million).
Next week’s Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2011 when: Britney Spears‘ Femme Fatale flew in at No. 1 with 276,000 while Wiz Khalifa‘s Rolling Papers debuted at No. 2 with 197,000. The previous week’s No. 1, Chris Brown‘s F.A.M.E., slipped to No. 3 with 91,000 (down 66%).
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