Last week, when "High School Musical 2" made its television debut on the Disney Channel, a staggering 17.2 million viewers tuned in, making the sequel to last year's whodathunkit hit the most-watched basic cable TV movie in broadcasting history.
But the "HSM2" madness didn't end there. The made-for-TV film's soundtrack also hit record stores last week, and, as predicted, sold like hot cakes, pulling in the second-largest first-week take of '07. Linkin Park's Minutes to Midnight still holds the title of best-performing debut of the year, having opened at #1 more than three months ago with nearly 623,000 copies snatched up during week one.
The "HSM2" soundtrack — featuring the pipes of the film's stars Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, Lucas Grabeel and Monique Coleman — racked up sales of more than 615,000, which was more than enough for a #1 opener on next week's Billboard top 200. Comparatively, the soundtrack to the first "High School Musical" debuted at #143 last summer, selling just 6,500 units, but has since gone on to scan about 4.1 million.
Disney Channel-spawned LPs dominate next week's chart, according to the latest SoundScan totals. Following "HSM2" at #2 is Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus, the Disney teen sensation's latest release, which climbs two spots thanks to another 82,600 scans. Right behind Hannah is the only other new release this week — of which there are 19 — to crack the chart's top 10: Coming in at #3 with 69,800 copies sold is Live at Radio City, the latest from Dave Matthews and collaborative partner Tim Reynolds.
The rest of the top 10 is chock-full of some familiar faces. Finishing at #4 this week is the 25th edition of the ever-growing Now That's What I Call Music! compilation family with 65,800 sold, while the soundtrack to the big-screen adaptation of the Broadway musical adaptation of John Waters' 1988 film "Hairspray" comes in at #5, selling 63,000-plus. Last week's #1 falls to #6 on next week's chart, as UGK's Underground Kingz suffered the second-week sales slump. Interest in the record waned 62 percent, resulting in sales of 60,300. Fergie's The Dutchess rises one chart position to #7 with 53,000 scans, while the Jonas Brothers' self-titled album claims the #8 slot with 41,100 sold.
Meanwhile, rapper Plies' inaugural set, The Real Testament, dives seven spots to #9 with sales reported at 38,600, and rounding things out at #10 is Common's new one, Finding Forever, which sold just 15 fewer copies.
Last year, AFI's Decemberunderground debuted at #1 on the Billboard albums sales chart with 182,000 copies flying off store shelves. Half of that band — frontman Davey Havok and guitarist Jade Puget — returns to next week's chart at #18, with the electronica-tinged side project Blaqk Audio. The duo's debut disc, CexCells, sold more than 29,000 copies, making it the week's third-highest-charting newcomer.
But 16 other artists debut on next week's chart, including country artist Luke Bryan, whose I'll Stay Me bows at #24 with 25,000 scans. Dean Martin's Forever Cool sold 17,200 copies, which puts it at #39 on the chart, followed immediately at #40 by Mae's Singularity, which sold just five fewer copies.
Coming in at #45 with yet another posthumous outing is Tupac, whose Nu-Mixx Klazzics, Vol. 2 (Evolution: Duets and Remixes) sold nearly 15,000 copies during its first week of commercial release. Below 'Pac at #49 is rapper WC's Guilty by Affiliation, which sold more than 14,100 units. 12 Stones' Anthem for the Underdog follows at #53, selling 12,800 copies, while Matt Nathanson's Some Mad Hope claims the chart's #60 slot with 11,300 scans.
Eisley's Combinations bows at #70, having sold more than 9,300 copies, while country act Halfway to Hazard's self-titled disc claims the #87 slot with 8,000 discs scanned. Lori McKenna's Unglamorous sold more than 6,300 units, which earns the album the chart's #109 position, while DJ Paul van Dyk's In Between follows at #115, with 6,000 copies sold.
Chingo Bling's They Can't Deport Us All opens on next week's chart at #123, thanks to sales of more than 5,700, while As Cities Burn's latest, Come Now Sleep, finishes at #135, selling 5,400 and change. Drop Dead Gorgeous' Worse Than a Fairy Tale debuts at #139 with 5,300 copies sold, and finally, coming in at #174 with sales of 4,300, is the latest from rappers Ali & Gipp, Kinfolk.
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