Week Ending March 25, 2012. Albums: Appetite For “Hunger”
The Hunger Games soundtrack enters The Billboard 200 at #1. It's the first multi-artist soundtrack to top the chart since October 2009, when The Twilight Saga: New Moon achieved the feat. The Hunger Games has a lot in common with the Twilight franchise. Both are based on a series of popular young adult novels which were written by talented (and now very wealthy) women. Stephenie Meyer created the Twilight novels. Suzanne Collins wrote The Hunger Games novels. (This is the first in a planned four-film series based on those novels.)
The soundtracks from the first two Twilight movies both debuted at #1. The soundtracks from the next two installments both opened in the top five. Twilight is one of only two movie franchises in movie history to spawn four or more top 10 soundtracks. The other is Star Wars, which leads with five. It will be interesting to see if The Hunger Games franchise one day joins this little club.
The Hunger Games sold 100K digital copies this week. That's the greatest one-week total for the soundtrack to a theatrically released movie in digital history. (The soundtrack to TV's Glee: The Music: Journey To Regionals sold 106K digital copies in its first week in June 2010.) An impressive seven songs from The Hunger Games are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by Taylor Swift's "Eyes Open," which debuts at #4.
"Safe & Sound" by Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars, which is the lead single from The Hunger Games, debuted at #30 on the Hot 100 last month. It ranked #71 last week, but it's expected to make a big jump this week. Swift and the members of The Civil Wars (Joy Williams and John Paul White) co-wrote "Safe & Sound" with T-Bone Burnett, who produced The Hunger Games soundtrack. I'm getting ahead of myself, but "Safe & Sound" will probably be a candidate for Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy recognition as the year's best movie song.
The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 And Beyond (that's the official title) also includes solo songs by Swift and The Civil Wars and songs by Arcade Fire, the Decemberists, Kid Cudi, Miranda Lambert & Pistol Annies, and Maroon 5 featuring Rozzi Crane, among others.
The Hunger Games grossed nearly $153 million over the weekend, which constitutes the third highest domestic opening in history. The soundtrack sold 175K copies in its first week. Figuring the album sold for about $12, it grossed about $2.1 million. As you can see, blockbuster movies and hit albums are in different universes.