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Get Rich or Die Tryin’ is under-performing, but the movie opens today, so anything could happen by the time the chart closes.
ONE-DAY SALES: RIDE ’EM, COWBOY!
Kenny Chesney Flies Out of the Gate, Building a Big Early Lead Over 50 Cent’s Soundtrack Album
Looks like a lone cowpoke will overpower a superstar rapper and his entire posse on next week’s album chart. Kenny Chesney returns to the big time following his side trip to the Caribbean early this year with The Road and the Radio (BNA/RLG), his first serious album since When the Sun Goes Down in February 2004, and at this point it’s galloping toward a finish north of 600k, which would exceed Sun’s 550.6k first-week tally. This latest blockbuster debut represents a fourth-quarter TD pass for RLG’s Joe Galante and Butch Waugh, whose year is going about as well as Peyton Manning’s.

By contrast, the soundtrack to 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (on G-Unit/Shady/Aftermath/Interscope, or some combination thereof), is presently trending shy of 300k. Yes, that’s far less than anyone expected, but the movie opens today, and despite the pans, it’s probably bulletproof, so to speak, meaning anything could happen to the album by Sunday night.

Neil Diamond, continuing the TV blitz on his critically acclaimed, Rick Rubin-produced 12 Songs (Columbia), is looking 75k-ish at the moment, as is Geffen duo Floetry.

Two other debuts are heading for high-ish chart appearances next week: rappers Sheek Louch (Koch) and Young Buck (Mass Appeal) are headed for a throwdown, as their releases cruise toward the 45k-50k hood.

As for the incumbents, current chart-topper Now 20 isn’t going anywhere, the Black Eyed Peas, Nickelback, Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, Fall Out Boy and Young Jeezy are all showing staying power, while Santana should stay in the upper echelons in its second week, and the Destiny’s Child hits collection should be an evergreen through the holidays.

Now, here’s a rarity—album sales were up by a hefty 1.4 million units over last week, a jump of 14.1%, and off by a measly 12k from the same week of 2004. Total sales for the week were 10.8 million. That brought the year-to-date total to 467.2 albums, but that’s still 49.4 million under last year at this time, representing a deficit of 9.6%.

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