Update: Tuesday night, Hits Daily Double downgraded its projections for Justin Timberlake’s “Man Of The Woods.”
The publication, which initially projected 300-350,000 first-week units in the US (pending an assessment of the Super Bowl impact), adjusted its expectation to 250-275,000 units. It expected 210-225,000 of those units to come in the form of pure album sales.
Wednesday, the publication issued more favorable numbers. It is now expecting 240-250,000 in pure sales and 275-290,000 in total units.
Billboard, for what it’s worth, is projecting “around 300,000” in total units.
Big by overall market standards, the numbers will likely end up as some of the best posted this year.
They nonetheless rank as fairly disappointing in context. Timberlake is one of the biggest music stars on the planet, and the album release coincided with a Super Bowl Halftime Show performance (and two performances on the post-Super Bowl “Tonight Show”).
The news that Justin Timberlake’s “Man Of The Woods” will top this week’s US album sales and consumption charts should not come as a surprise.
The numbers with which it will top said charts will, however, surprise (and disappoint) industry observers.
According to Hits Daily Double, “Man Of The Woods” is on track to sell 210-225,000 pure US copies this week. The inclusion of TEA (track sales/10) and SEA (track streams/1500) will yield a first-week consumption tally in the 250-275,000 neighborhood.
While it may seem odd to criticize six-figure numbers in 2018, it is important to consider the context. “Man Of The Woods” is a Justin Timberlake album, and its launch week coincides with a Super Bowl Halftime Show performance (albeit one that paid little attention to music from the new album). Timberlake also performed two songs from the album on the post-Super Bowl “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
Considering his star power and that degree of exposure, the opening week figures are unquestionably disappointing.
The projections, moreover, have fallen from their initial levels. As of Saturday, Hits was projecting a consumption tally in the 300-350,000 unit range.
The Super Bowl boost — and mid-week momentum — are thus considerably lower than industry analysts expected.
“Man Of The Woods” will, nonetheless, be a dominant #1 on the Billboard Top Album Sales (pure sales) and Billboard 200 (consumption) charts.