Kanye West, Jay-Z’s Watch The Throne Scores Huge On Billboard

Album sold 436,000 in its first week, including a record 290,000 on iTunes.

The Throne will get a royal reception on the Billboard 200 albums charts next week. Watch the Throne , the superstar hookup between [artist id=”1230523″]Kanye West[/artist] and [artist id=”1269″]Jay-Z[/artist], sold more than 436,000 copies in its first week, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan, putting up the second-biggest debut sales week of the year so far, behind [artist id=”3061469″]Lady Gaga[/artist]’s Born This Way, which moved 1.1 million.

Thanks to a three-day iTunes exclusive that launched last Monday (August 8-10), the pair also reportedly broke the record for the biggest iTunes debut ever, selling almost 290,000 digital copies, enough to beat out former record-holder Coldplay’s Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, which sold 282,000 copies in 2008. According to Billboard, with 321,000 total downloads, Throne is second only to Born This Way (662,000) for the biggest digital week ever.

See what fans thought of the Watch the Throne pop-up store, which appeared in NYC last week.

The album might have sold more, but some experts said its staggered release — following the iTunes exclusive, it was available to all digital and physical sellers on Friday, giving fans only two days to snatch it up before SoundScan’s tracking week ended on Sunday — may have curtailed its first-week sales potential.

Either way, it’s a huge score for both rappers, earning Jay his 12th #1 album and Kanye his fifth.

There are a few other debuts in the top 10, but they pale in comparison to the Throne numbers. Country singer Luke Bryan’s Tailgates & Tanlines comes in at #2 (145,000), the Now 39 compilation is just behind at #3 (110,000) and rapper Ace Hood hits #8 with Blood Sweat & Tears (26,000).

The rest of the top 10: Adele’s 21 (#4, 73,000), Eric Church’s Chief (#5, 37,000), Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party (#6, 36,000), Beyoncé’s 4 (#7, 27,000), Jackie Evancho’s Dream With Me (#9, 26,000) and Kidz Bop KidsKidz Bop 20 (#10, 25,000).

In a parallel to its shock poor performance at the box office, the soundtrack to “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie” hit the charts at a tepid #16 on soft sales of 20,000. And maybe it was their well-received set at Lollapalooza, but VMA-nominated new wave revivalists Foster the People ’s debut, Torches, is up 23 percent and six spots to #14 as sales picked up to 21,000.

Jay and ’Ye rule the roost, but another rap double team, Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame, make a little less noise down at #21 with their joint album, 1017 Bricksquad Presents: Gucci Mane & Waka Flocka Flame — Ferrari Boyz (17,000). Down at #49, Eminem’s Bad Meets Evil cohort, Royce Da 5’9, sold 16,000 copies of his fifth solo album,Success Is Certain, which features cameos from Eminem, Joe Budden and Travis Barker.

See what car expert Myles Kovacs estimates the Maybach’s work cost.

You already know where Throne came in on the iTunes album charts, but just behind the #1 digital album was Bryan, Adele, NOW, Foster the People, singer/songwriter Mat Kearney’s Young Love, Mumford & Sons’ Sigh No More, the resurgent Hands All Over from Maroon 5, Church, and the Eminem and Royce collabo album Hell: The Sequel.

In an unexpected coup, Maroon 5’s collaboration with Christina Aguilera, “Moves Like Jagger,” shoots to #1 on the iTunes singles chart, while the summer’s #1 jam, “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO, drops to #5. It was a good week for Foster’s breakthrough hit, “Pumped Up Kicks,” which soars up to #2, followed by Drake’s “Headlines,” Bad Meets Evil’s “Lighters,” Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” at #6, then Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” Hot Chelle Rae’s “Tonight Tonight,” Lil Wayne’s “How to Love” and Britney Spears’ “I Wanna Go.”

Next week will be the longevity test for Throne, which will have a full seven days of sales to work from and very little competition from new releases.

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