The soundtrack of the new Beauty and the Beast film is heading for a top five debut on next week's Billboard 200 albums chart, according to industry forecasters. Prognosticators suggest the set, which was released March 10 through Walt Disney Records, may earn around 50,000 to 55,000 equivalent album units in the week ending March 16.
The new movie is a live-action adaptation of Disney's classic animated film of the same name, which was released in 1991. The redux's soundtrack features the cast's recordings of the film's songs like "Be Our Guest," "Belle" and the title cut. It also boasts contributions from Ariana Grande, John Legend, Josh Groban and Celine Dion.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The top 10 of the new April 1, 2017-dated Billboard 200 chart (where Beauty and the Beast will debut) is scheduled to be revealed on Billboard's websites on Sunday, March 19.
If the new Beauty and the Beast soundtrack bows in the top five, it will easily surpass the No. 19 peak of the animated film's companion album. The latter set debuted at No. 146 on the chart dated Dec. 7, 1991, and eventually peaked at No. 19 on the April 18, 1992-dated tally. The set spent 76 weeks on the list and has sold 2.3 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music.
It's likely that Ed Sheeran's current No. 1, ÷ (Divide), will hold atop the list for a second week, with perhaps around 170,000 units. Metallica's Hardwired… To Self-Destruct could nab the runner-up slot for a second straight frame, as the set continues to rack up sales generated by a concert ticket/album bundle sale redemption promotion. Hardwired may draw 95,000 units in the week ending March 16.
As for the rest of the top 10, it appears the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack could be the only debut in the region. The next highest bows will likely be The Shins' Heartworms and Josh Turner's Deep South, which could both launch somewhere in the top 25.