Britney Spears looks to have a clear path to top The Billboard 200.

First-day sales from the eight chains that report to Nielsen SoundScan’s Building Charts put Spears’ Jive/Zomba release “Blackout” at 124,000 on the report released today (Oct. 31).

That is more than double the number of units posted by Carrie Underwood’s chart-topping “Carnival Ride,” which rounded up 49,000 sales from the start of the tracking week through close of business yesterday. That album is currently in the runner-up position.

Zomba estimates “Blackout” will open in the range of 330,000-350,000, a ballpark that falls in line with her Building Chart total.

Since the Building Charts’ inception, six of the seven weeks’ Wednesday leaders were also No. 1 on The Billboard 200 when final charts were compiled with data from all reporting sellers. Jimmy Eat World’s “Chase This Light” was the only Wednesday leader that did not hold its pole position.

The Building Charts also seem to confirm that the nation’s biggest seller, Wal-Mart, will not report sales on its U.S. exclusive, the Eagles’ “Long Road Out of Eden,” as that much-anticipated album is missing from the Wednesday list. Wal-Mart usually blocks its proprietary titles from appearing on Top Comprehensive Albums, as was the case with its Garth Brooks exclusives.

Anderson Merchandisers and Handleman Company, the racks that stock music at Wal-Mart, are among the eight accounts who provide data to Nielsen SoundScan’s Building Charts. The remaining six reporting merchants are Trans World Entertainment, iTunes, Best Buy, Circuit City and Target.

“In the Zone,” Spears’ last studio album, opened with 609,000 in 2003 when it became her fourth No. 1 album. The Eagles’ last major album, the live “Hell Freezes,” began at 267,000 units when it posted the first of two weeks it spent in the top slot of The Billboard 200.


Leave a Reply