Though their lead is shrinking, the Beatles will continue to hold onto the #1 spot on next week's Billboard 200 albums chart, staving off dancehall Hotshot Shaggy by a margin of 12,000 copies.
According to sales figures issued by SoundScan on Wednesday, The Beatles 1 sold more than 215,000 copies last week to maintain its position atop the charts, with Hotshot selling some 203,000 copies to finish at #2.
One of the biggest chart moves comes from the "Save the Last Dance" soundtrack, which features tracks by K-Ci & JoJo, 112, Lucy Pearl, Q-Tip, Pink and more. The companion album to the box-office-topping film managed to pop and lock its way to the #3 spot with 172,000 copies sold, up from 76,000 copies and the #11 spot last week.
Despite the sales increases posted by Hotshot and the "Save the Last Dance" album, The Beatles will likely face their stiffest chart competition next week, as Jennifer Lopez's just-released second album, J.Lo, may put an end to The Beatles 1's seven-week run at #1.
The rest of the next week's top 10 features most of the usual suspects from the last few weeks, with Now That's What I Call Music! Vol. 5 at #4 with 112,000 copies sold, followed by Creed's Human Clay (102,000), Sade's Lovers Rock (88,000), and Limp Bizkit's Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water (85,000).
Rounding out the remainder of the top 10 are Dido's No Angel at #8 (78,000 copies sold), Outkast's Stankonia (78,000), and Lenny Kravitz's Greatest Hits (78,000).
Fledgling rap-rockers Crazy Town look to crack the upper echelon of next week's Billboard 200, as the Los Angeles group's debut, The Gift of Game, moved up to #16 from #23 on the charts, fueled by the hit single "Butterfly."
Crazy Town's recent success with The Gift of Game has been a study in patience and endurance; the album was initially released in October 1999 but didn't reach the Billboard 200 until nine weeks ago.
Other movers and shakers on the charts include a pair of movie-related albums. The "Coyote Ugly" soundtrack jumped up from #110 to #39, benefiting from last week's release of the film on video and DVD, while the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack climbs from #59 to #41.
The only record set to debut in the new Billboard 200 comes courtesy of country stalwarts Alabama, whose When It All Goes South will enter the charts at #37, with more than 37,000 copies sold during its first week in stores.