It’s 2000 all over again: Justin Timberlake is responsible for the biggest sales week of the year, and Eminem is solidly in the second slot.
Slim Shady’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 had the second-biggest sales week of 2013, moving 792,000 copies of his eighth album. That beats many of the industry predictions, most of which anticipated between 700,000 and 750,000. It’s around a million albums less than the original Marshall Mathers LP did in 2000, but it’s still a strong showing from the veteran rapper.
Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience still has the biggest sales week of the year, with 968,000 copies sold in its first week back in March. After Eminem, the rest of the top five biggest debut weeks of the year are Drake’s Nothing Was the Same (658,000), Jay Z’s Magna Carta…Holy Grail (528,000), and Luke Bryan’s Crash My Party (528,000). Expect Lady Gaga’s just-released ARTPOP to sneak into that list somewhere next week.
It’s the biggest opening week for Eminem since Encore moved 710,000 in its debut week in 2004, though that was only based on three days’ worth of sales. It bests his previous two debuts, as 2009’s Relapse opened with 608,000 copies sold and 2010’s Recovery did 741,000 in its first week.
Elsewhere on the Billboard 200, Celine Dion’s Love Me Back to Life opened strong in the number two slot, while Duck Dynasty’s Robertson Family’s holiday disc Duck The Halls took the no. 3 spot with 75K and Avril Lavigne’s self-titled new release landed at a disappointing number five with 42K.
Did you pick up The Marshall Mathers LP 2 last week? Now that you’ve had time to sit with it, what do you think? And how many copies of ARTPOP do you think Lady Gaga will sell? Sound off in the comments.