While "Curious George" failed to drum up enough ticket sales over the weekend for a first-place finish at the box office, the film's soundtrack, Sing-a-Longs and Lullabies for the Film "Curious George," made a big impression at the nation's record stores — scoring mellow surfer-turned-singer Jack Johnson his first-ever Billboard-topping debut.
Johnson — who composed original material for the animated movie — has come close to the top of the albums chart before, but he's never had the chance to light that proverbial cigar. His 2003 outing, On and On, opened at #3 with sales of more than 132,000. And nearly a year ago, In Between Dreams sold 229,000 its first week out for another #3 debut.
According to the latest SoundScan figures, Sing-a-Longs and Lullabies for the Film "Curious George" achieved week-one scans of close to 163,000 to claim the coveted Billboard title. Johnson had a little help from friends Ben Harper, Matt Costa and G. Love, who contributed to the disc.
Holding strong to the #2 spot is Mary J. Blige's The Breakthrough, which finished out the week with 152,000 copies sold, a 24 percent sales boost. Last week's #1, Barry Manilow's The Greatest Songs of the Fifties, slides two spots to #3 after selling close to 142,000 units during its second week in stores. Tuscan tenor Andrea Bocelli's Amore drops one chart position to #4 with nearly 117,000 week-two sales.
Johnson's "Curious" collection wasn't the top five's sole newcomer. Dem Franchize Boyz's On Top of Our Game makes the cut, bowing at #5 with close to 106,000 copies sold. Il Divo's Ancora follows at #6 with 96,000 sales, while Eminem's Curtain Call: The Hits checks in at #9 after moving 82,000 discs. Jamie Foxx's Unpredictable drops six spots to #10, selling just over 81,000 copies.
This week's chart is chock full of debuts that held their own during a strong week for overall record sales. Comedian Ron White's latest, You Can't Fix Stupid, claims the #14 spot with 64,000 copies sold, while Remy Ma's There's Something About Remy pops up at #33 with 37,000 sales. K.T. Tunstall's Eye to the Telescope finishes at #47 with nearly 28,000 scans, and the "One Tree Hill" Volume Two: Friends With Benefit soundtrack — which features Audioslave, Fall Out Boy, Hot Hot Heat and more — takes #54 after moving 25,000 units. In Flames' Come Clarity opens at #58 with sales of 24,000, and Belle and Sebastian's The Life Pursuit comes in at #65 with 20,000 plus copies sold. Beth Orton's Comfort of Strangers finishes at #93 with 13,000 sales, and Collective Soul's Home ends up at #183 with close to 7,000 scans.
Many of this year's Grammy winners, nominees and performers prolonged the excitement of last week's event with the big sales week that followed in its afterglow. Sales of John Legend's Get Lifted shot up a whopping 780 percent for the Best New Artist, Best R&B Album and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance winner (who also performed with Stevie Wonder before Super Bowl XL). Get Lifted leaps from #187 to #18 with 52,000 copies sold. Mariah Carey, who took home three awards, including Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, watches her The Emancipation of Mimi climb seven to #7 thanks to a 70 percent sales boost that translated to 90,000 plus copies sold. Breakaway, the latest from Kelly Clarkson — who won two Grammys, including Best Female Pop Vocal Performance — finishes at #8 after jumping 16 positions and 109 percent with 83,000 copies sold.
The compilation album showcasing this year's Grammy nominees climbs 17 spots to #15 thanks to a 114 percent spike in sales. And while Fall Out Boy didn't win a Grammy, their From Under the Cork Tree does win big on Billboard's chart, scoring a #28 finish with sales of 42,000 and change (a 27 percent upswing). Late Registration by Kanye West, the recipient of Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Solo Performance Grammys, experienced a 92 percent swell to score the #30 spot with 39,000 copies sold. Gorillaz's Demon Days, which contains the Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals-winning track "Feel Good Inc.," climbs 15 spots to claim the #34 slot after an 80 percent sales boost.
Meanwhile, Gwen Stefani's multi-nominated debut, Love, Angel, Music, Baby, finished the week with a 65 percent retail rise, amounting to over 28,000 copies sold, to grab #45. Sales of U2's Album of the Year winner How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb shot up 512 percent, putting the LP back in the top 200 at #49, following the previous week's chart no-show. Green Day's American Idiot, which features Record of the Year winner "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," follows at #50, with sales up 55 percent to 27,000. And Coldplay's X&Y didn't score a Grammy, but sales of the disc surged 67 percent to nearly 27,000, earning the disc a spot at #52.