By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The latest edition of the “Now That’s What I Call Music!” franchise featuring chart hits by Lorde and Katy Perry debuted at the top of the weekly Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday, pushing the “Frozen” film soundtrack off its pedestal.
“Now 49,” a 21-track compilation that includes songs by Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears, sold 98,000 copies in its first week, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.
While “Now 49″ knocked Disney’s “Frozen” film soundtrack down from the top spot to No. 2, the record that features the Oscar-nominated song “Let It Go” is still racking up strong sales, with another 88,000 copies sold in its 11th week since release.
“Let It Go” is No. 6 on Billboard’s Digital Songs chart, which measures downloads.
After singer Bruno Mars performed a high-octane set watched by a record-breaking 115.3 million viewers at the Super Bowl on February 2, his album “Unorthodox Jukebox” continued to benefit from the exposure by selling 81,000 copies and climbing four spots to No. 3 this week.
“Now 49″ was one of four debuts in this week’s Top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart. R&B singers Toni Braxton and Babyface teamed up on “Love Marriage & Divorce,” which nailed No. 4. Electro-rock group Broken Bells and their “After The Disco” came in at No. 5, and British girl band Little Mix placed at No. 6 with “Salute.”
Overall album sales for the week ending February 9 totaled 4.5 million units, down 22 percent from the comparable week in 2013, Billboard said.
(Editing by Mary Milliken and Jan Paschal)