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Now 18 should sell around 325k for the week, keeping the label’s hot streak going and putting the comp in a horse race (to mix sports metaphors) with Fitty.

ONE-DAY SALES: NOW AND AGAIN

Singles Franchise in a Shoot-out With 50 Cent for Next Week’s #1
How time flies when you’re having fun—and we're sure you'll agree that this decade has been a real barrel of laffs so far. Would you believe that we’re already up to the 18th edition of the singles-collection series that goes by the now-familiar moniker Now That’s What I Call Music? Yup. We are.

It’s Epic’s turn at the plate, and Now 18 should sell around 325k for the week, keeping the label’s hot streak going and putting the comp in a horse race (to mix sports metaphors) with 50 Cent’s The Massacre (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope) for the top spot on next week’s sales chart. It all depends on how Fitty trends in his third (kind of) week at retail.

If you’re looking for compelling retail drama beyond this contest between man and machine, however, sorry, Charlie. 

Here’s the rest of the debut field, along with the numbers we expect them to tally (these numbers, of course, are different from the numbers we’ll give you as the week goes on—that’s just the way it is, baby):  Baby Bash (Universal), 50k; Brooke Valentine (Virgin), 35k-40k; Miranda Lambert (Sony Nashville), 35k.

And now (we can’t put it off any longer, folks), the market trends. Retail was off 11% from last week (10.8 million units compared to 12.1 million) and down 7% versus the same week a year ago (11.6m). On the year so far, the market is down 9% on 111.6 million units (122.7m last year). Bummer.

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