Casting Crowns, Of Mice & Men Heading for Top 10 on Billboard 200

Billboard

Casting Crowns and Of Mice & Men are both heading for top 10 debuts on the Billboard 200 chart next week. And for the latter, it'll be their best week ever.

Industry sources suggest that Casting Crowns' latest album, Thrive, may sell around 75,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, February 2. As for Of Mice & Men's "Restoring Force," it may shift around 50,000. Both albums were released on January 28.

Neither set, at this point, is in contention for the No. 1 slot. The recently released "2014 Grammy Nominees" compilation is aiming for No. 1, with perhaps over 90,000 sold for the week. It's basking in the glow of its namesake awards show, which aired on January 26.

The top 10 of next week's Billboard 200 chart will be revealed on Wednesday, February 5.

Casting Crowns' last studio set, 2011's "Come to the Well," debuted and peaked at No. 2 -- marking the act's second album to peak in the runner-up slot. "Come to the Well" sold 99,000 in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In total, the act has charted four top 10 sets, stretching back to 2005's "Lifesong," which debuted and peaked at No. 9.

"Thrive" will easily give Casting Crowns its sixth No. 1 album on the Christian Albums chart as well. It follows the group's previous leaders: "Come to the Well," "Until the Whole World Hears" (2009), "Peace On Earth" (2008), "The Altar and the Door" (2007) and "Lifesong."

For Of Mice & Men, "Restoring Force," will log the act's best sales week ever -- and highest charting album. The band has never gone higher than No. 28, in 2011, with "The Flood." It also net Of Mice & Men its best sales week, when it entered the list with 15,000.

On SoundScan's Building chart (below), the "2014 Grammy Nominees" album is No. 1, followed by the soundtrack to "Frozen" at No. 2. The Building tally is a precursor to the final Billboard 200 ranking -- reflecting the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week as reported by six major merchants.

The rest of the Building chart's top 10: Of Mice & Men is No. 3, while Beyonce's self-titled album is No. 4. Lorde's "Pure Heroine" is No. 5, Andy Mineo's "Never Land" is No. 6 and Casting Crowns is No. 7. Mineo will likely finish the week just outside the top 10, with perhaps 20,000.

(Casting Crowns is below Of Mice & Men on the Building chart, as a significant number of Casting Crowns' sales from Christian retailers are not represented in the Building chart. When the final chart is compiled next week, Casting Crowns should be well ahead of Of Mice & Men.)

Daft Punk's "Random Access Memories" -- the Grammy Award winner for album of the year -- is No. 8 on the Building chart, while Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "The Heist" is No. 9. Closing out the top 10 is Imagine Dragons' "Night Visions," at No. 10.

Nielsen SoundScan Building Chart
RankLW
BB 200
ArtistTitle
12Various Artists"2014 Grammy Nominees"
21Soundtrack"Frozen"
3NEWOf Mice & Men"Restoring Force"
44Beyonce"Beyonce"
55Lorde"Pure Heroine"
6NEWAndy Mineo"Never Land"
7NEWCasting Crowns"Thrive"
839Daft Punk"Random Access Memories"
914Macklemore & Ryan Lewis"The Heist"
1011Imagine Dragons"Night Visions"
The Building Chart reflects the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week (which ends Sunday) as reported by six major merchants: iTunes, Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Starbucks, Target and Anderson Merchandisers. Billboard estimates that they make up about 85% of all U.S. album sales.
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