As it turns out, being on the most-watched television broadcast in history is good for business.
Bruno Mars, who provided the only semblance of entertainment during a lopsided Super Bowl 10 days ago, found himself back in the upper echelon of the Billboard album chart for the second straight week when his second album Unorthodox Jukebox made the jump to number three this week (last week, it sat at no. 7). The album, which was released back in December 2012, moved 81,000 units in the week following the Super Bowl, an 82 percent increase over the previous week’s total.
It wasn’t quite enough, though, to put Mars at the top of the chart this week. That spot belongs to Now That’s What I Call Music! 49, which sold 98,000 copies in its opening week. The seemingly indestructible compilation series has been providing listeners with 10-month-old hit songs since its debut in 1998 – this iteration provides hitherto unavailable access to Lorde’s “Royals,” Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball,” One Direction’s “Story of My Life,” and Imagine Dragons’ “Demons.” Now bumps the soundtrack to Frozen out of the top spot, where it had sat for two weeks. The Disney monster still sold 88,000 copies and is on its way to crossing the one million-sold mark next week.
But back to Bruno: Even more impressive than the bump for his Unorthodox Jukebox was the one received by his first album, Doo Wops & Hooligans, which nearly made its way back to the top 10 with 26,000 copies sold. That’s not bad for an album from 2010, though Mars shouldn’t necessarily crown himself king of everything just yet: Of the 112 million viewers who took in Mars’ halftime performance, that means less than one percent of those people turned around and bought an album. Wouldn’t you think the strike rate would be better than that, even considering the two million copies of Unorthodox Jukebox already in circulation?
Perhaps Mars should just get himself nominated for an Academy Award. Though Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” is once again the top song on the Billboard Hot 100, the big surprise this week is the surge of Pharrell Williams’ Oscar-nominated track “Happy,” which jumped from number eight to number two this week. Could Williams’ dramatic increases in airplay and digital sales possibly send him to the top of the Hot 100 next week, and out-race Perry’s “Horse”?