On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Jan. 13), the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman jumped to No. 1, earning 106,000 equivalent album units (up 37 percent) in the week ending Jan. 4, according to Nielsen Music. The set is the first soundtrack to top the tally since Fifty Shades Darker led the list for one week in March of 2017.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the week’s most popular albums based on their overall consumption. That overall unit figure combines pure album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the rest of the Billboard 200:
-- Ed Sheeran, ÷ (Divide) – No. 2: Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide) hangs out for a 40th nonconsecutive week in the top 10 (67,000 units; down 27 percent). The set opened at No. 1 on the list dated March 25, 2017 and has been inside the top 10 in all but four of its 44 charting weeks. (And when the album did leave the top 10, it still stayed within the top 20.) Sheeran has previously logged as many weeks in the top 10, with his second album x (Multiply), which tallied 44 weeks in the region.
-- Khalid, American Teen – No. 10: After a three-month absence from the top 10, Khalid’s American Teen rebounds to the upper level of the chart, climbing 15-10 with 31,000 units (down 13 percent).
American Teen rises up the list, even with a decline in units, because the chart is adjusting back to normal business following the busy holiday season. Further, the chart also cleanses itself of many Christmas albums, which occupy a bevy of slots on the chart during the season. So, with holiday music basically gone from the chart, albums can re-establish their footing on the list, even with a decline in units. Only four albums in the top 20 post an increase in units on the latest chart: The Greatest Showman at No. 1, Demi Lovato’s Tell Me You Love Me at No. 13 (26,000 units; up 11 percent), Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic at No. 15 (21,000 units; up less than 1 percent) and Drake’s More Life at No. 17 (18,000 units; up 7 percent).
-- Bruno Mars, 24K Magic – No. 15: Thanks to the success of the album’s latest single, “Finesse,” the set climbs 31-15 (21,000 units; up less than 1 percent) -- its highest rank since it placed at No. 19 on the Sept. 9, 2017-dated list. It’s expected that 24K Magic will return to the top 10 on the Jan. 20, 2018-dated list.
-- Portugal. The Man, Woodstock – No. 39: Portugal. The Man’s Woodstock is back in the top 40 (rising 117-39) for the first time since October, with the chart’s greatest percentage increase (up 34 percent). The album profits from year-end promotions featuring the set’s multi-format hit “Feel It Still.” The set was last in the top 40 on the Oct. 28, 2017-dated list, when it ranked at No. 37.
-- Shania Twain, Now – No. 99: The diva’s former No. 1 returns to the list, re-entering at No. 99 with nearly 7,000 units (up 120 percent), mostly driven by traditional album sales (7,000; up 129 percent). The album gains thanks to sales generated by a concert/ticket album bundle redemption promotion. Now debuted at No. 1 on the Oct. 21, 2017-dated chart, but then made a quick exist off the list, moving to No. 29 in its second week, and then moving 62-74-126-152 and then off the list. It has been absent from the tally since departing the chart following the Nov. 25-dated list.
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