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Encore is set to take #1 on this week’s chart easily, with a “first weekend” tally of over 700k, as the picture becomes clearer later today when more sales reports have been processed.
CHART PREVIEW: “EM” IS
FOR "MONSTER"
Eminem, Shania Twain, Toby Keith, Destiny’s Child, Britney, Others Wrap a Wacky
Retail Weekend
The usually neat and orderly world of music retail suddenly became a chaotic, every-man-for-himself jungle last week as the early arrival of Eminem and other key releases created a street-date-breaking frenzy the like of which hasn't been seen since the fall of Saigon.

Okay, maybe that’s an overstatement, but observers can’t help but be a little impressed with the number of release-date changes happening lately, first among which this week is Eminem’s Encore (Shady/Interscope), which in keeping with his last two releases was bumped up to Friday, but actually was being sold widely by last Thursday.

Encore is set to take #1 on this week’s chart easily, with a “first weekend” tally of over 700k, as the picture becomes clearer later today when more sales reports have been processed.

Eminem’s early arrival put an end to Shania Twain’s hopes for a #1 debut with her greatest hits package, which has nevertheless seen a boost from the CMA Awards, as has Toby Keith’s best-of set. Both performed on last week’s awards barn dance.

At present, it looks like Twain will be #2 with a first week of around 500k, while Keith will likely come in #3 at over 400k.

Britney Spears, who did not appear on the CMAs, is likely to see her My Prerogative greatest hits package (Jive) log a first week of about 250k.

Then there’s Destiny’s Child’s Destiny Fulfilled (Columbia), which was previously scheduled for release today, but (surprise!) was also widely available for purchase by Friday, making it something of a wildcard in an otherwise wild week. Retail pundits have said to look for a solid debut despite the short sales period, but the definition of “solid” is still up in the air until we get some more reports.

But wait, there’s more: Both Chingy’s Powerballin (Capitol) and Lil Jon and the East Side BoyzCrunk Juice (TVT), though scheduled for release tomorrow (11/16), are said to have seen significant sales over the weekend thanks largely to being included in a Wal-Mart special. How significant? We’re working on it.

Meanwhile, some other albums that actually came out on Tuesday are looking pretty good, too: FabolousReal Talk (Atlantic) appears headed for a near-200k first week, while Ja Rule’s R.U.L.E. (The Inc./IDJ) is set to see upwards of 175k and New Edition’s One Love (Bad Boy/Universal) is looking at around 100k.

This week, look for Snoop Dogg’s R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta) (Geffen) and Clay Aiken’s Merry Christmas with Love (RCA/RMG) to join the fray. Both are said to be huge, with early guesses on the Snoop exceeding 400k in some circles.
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