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ONE-DAY SALES: TIMBERLAKE
LOGS MAJOR SALES

NSYNC-er Swims Like Crazy; Initial Reaction to U2, ICP, DMB Also Looking Good
As the days grow shorter, the sales tallies grow longer. That’s the way it should be, and that’s how it’s shaping up this year as the holiday shopping season gets into full swing.

This week’s debut by Eminem’s 8 Mile soundtrack (Shady/Interscope) sets the #1 bar pretty darn high at 740k-plus, but one of yesterday’s new releases looks like it could cut Mr. Mathers’ reign short.

We’re talking, of course, about NSYSNC heartthrob Justin Timberlake’s highly anticipated solo bow, Justified (Jive), which in the early going looks likely to have a first week in the 550k-600k range, according to reports from national accounts. That puts him ahead of forecasts, and that’s a good thing.

Those with nose for retail suggest that Timberlake will likely find himself at #1 next week, if (and this is a big “if”) the Eminem experiences the typical second-week falloff. But given that the movie opens Friday, and 8 Mile is far from a typical soundtrack, its sales could actually increase over the next few days. If, as many believe, the movie does drive the soundtrack from the first week, Timberlake will have to settle for #2. But a half-million #2 is far from a bad thing.

Meanwhile, U2’s Interscope/Island three-disc greatest hits package (2 CDs plus a DVD) is selling at a rapid clip and should come in anywhere from 250k-300k for the week. That’s right on the money, according to most projections. The $24.95-list set is being sold for as little as $14.99 at some outlets. That’s a good thing for value-seeking consumers.

Surprising some is Detroit’s own Insane Clown Posse, whose The Wraith: Shangri-La on indie label Riviera (distributed through Navarre) is on track to do about 150k and could debut as high as #3 on next week’s chart. Not a bad thing, say Juggalos everywhere.

And the live release from the Dave Matthews Band, Live at Folsom Field (RCA) appears likely to sell in the 100k range for the week. Also not a bad thing, say patchouli-scented jam-band aficionados across the nation.

We’re going to stop now, and that’s a good thing.

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