HITS Daily Double
“50 Cent met and surpassed all expectations, proving himself once again to be one of the most formidable sales forces in the industry. But he was far from the only sales story."
——Tower's Kevin Hawkins


Fitty Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Full Week to Massacre Retail
With his second album, 50 Cent has proved beyond all doubt that he’s still money—make that MONEY. The Massacre (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope) formally hit stores last Thursday (2/3), although quite a few stores jumped the gun, putting it out as fast as they could open the boxes. And the five-day total is (drum roll, please)…1.15 million. Wow. By the way, that figure was just good enough to make Fitty #1. Kidding.

And don’t forget about his labelmate, onetime protégé and current rival, The Game, whose G-Unit/Aftermath/Interscope first album continues to smoke like a just-fired pistol. This week the South Central rapper racked up another 98k, keeping him in the Top 5, where he’s remained since his album came out in late January. The senior member of the Aftermath/Interscope triumvirate, Eminem, remained in spitting distance of his homies at #11.

Epic’s Jennifer Lopez, who had the top spot locked up until 50 Cent crashed her party, kicked butt nonetheless, as her new Rebirth locked up #2 with no problem on just south of 269k. Also performing for Epic was Omarion, who moved 72.6k seven days after topping the chart. That kept him in the Top 10 at #8. Judas Priest’s Angel of Retribution made it a hat trick for the label, debuting at #12 on 58.5k, half of them coming from DualDisc sales.

Interscope and Epic aren’t the only red-hot labels coming into the month of March. Universal, which had a #1 debut recently with 3 Doors Down (Republic/Universal)—still strong this week at #13—nailed down the #3 and #4 positions with Jack Johnson’s In Between Dreams (Brushfire/Universal) and the Mars Volta’s Frances the Mute (GSL/Strummer/Universal). Johnson’s 221.6k tally made it his biggest opening yet, while Mars’ 121.4k marks the emergence of a new force in cutting-edge rock, as art and commerce collide. The pricing didn’t hurt, either—Circuit City had it for $5.99.

“50 Cent met and surpassed all expectations, proving himself once again to be one of the most formidable sales forces in the industry,” said Tower’s Kevin Hawkins, flashing his bling. “We fully expect to have yet another huge week with 50 Cent as he cashes in on seven entire days in our stores. But he was far from the only sales story. J.Lo had a great week as well, with Jack Johnson and Mars Volta living up to the hype. Also, Judas Priest’s fan base showed up in droves.”

Also in the Top 10: Concord’s Ray Charles (#7, 78.7k), RCA/RMG’s Kelly Clarkson (#9, 62.6k) and GOOD/Columbia/Sony Urban’s upwardly mobile John Legend (#10, 60.5).

Tune in next week for the next episode of the sales chart, starring pretty much the same cast as this week.