×

‘Experience’ Pays for Justin Timberlake with Big Debut Numbers

Media blitz with Grammys, 'SNL' and 'Fallon' appearances sets up 968,000-unit launch

After an absence of more than six years, Justin Timberlake made a huger-than-expected re-entry to the music stage, as the singer’s new “The 20/20 Experience” leaped to No. 1 behind a 968,000-unit debut week.

According to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ending March 24, Timberlake’s heavily promoted set made the biggest chart splash since Taylor Swift’s “Red” hit the top with a 1.2 million-unit week last October. The RCA album’s first-week total nearly doubled initial projections of around 500,000 copies.

The “20/20” release was preceded by a rarified blast of ballyhoo that included Timberlake’s Grammy Awards duet with Jay-Z, a “Saturday Night Live” guest host shot, a week of performances on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” and an iHeartRadio special.

The set’s numbers far outstrip the former N’Sync member’s earlier solo scores: “FutureSex/LoveSounds” bowed at No. 1 with 684,000 sold in 2006, while “Justified” arrived at No. 2 in 2002 with 439,000 shifted.

Timberlake’s mammoth tally left the rest of the week’s top 10 in the dust. Country phenom Kacey Musgraves’ “Same Trailer Different Park” (Mercury/Nashville), the frame’s only other major debut, moved in at a distant No. 2, with 43,000 sold in its first week.

The top five was filled out by Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” (No. 3, 41,000 sold, down 3%), Luke Bryan’s “Spring Break … Here to Party” (No. 4, 38,000, off 37%) and Pink’s “The Truth About Love” (No. 5, 36,000, up 26%). Latter title gained traction behind the vocalist’s current No. 1 hit “Just Give Me a Reason,” a duet with Nate Ruess of Fun., which sold 241,000 digital copies last week.

Imagine Dragons’ “Night Visions” (No. 6, 29,000, up 3%), Bon Jovi’s “What About Now” (No. 7, 29,000, off 71%), the “Les Miserables” soundtrack (No. 8, 28,000, up 221%), Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” (No. 9, 27,000, down 11%) and Rihanna’s “Unapologetic” (No. 10, 26,000, down 5%) rounded out the top 10. The big boost for “Les Mis” came off an augmented edition of the hit movie album.

Though Timberlake will likely prevail at the top in the coming week even with a steep sales decline, new titles from Depeche Mode, Blake Shelton and the Strokes will also be in the running for top 10 real estate.

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Chuck Dauphin receives the CMA Media

    Country Music Journalist Chuck Dauphin Dies at 45

    Chuck Dauphin, the undisputed sweetheart of country music journalism, died Wednesday night at 45. Dauphin was the rare journalist who could claim the title “CMA Award winner.” The Country Music Association bestowed him with its CMA Media Achievement Award backstage during a lull in the telecast in 2014. A writer and radio personality who was [...]

  • JOHNNY CASH, with BOB DYLAN, c.

    Bob Dylan to Release Country-Themed Box Set, ‘Travelin’ Thru, 1967-69,’ Featuring Johnny Cash

    Columbia Records and Sony catalog division Legacy Recordings will release the boxed set “Bob Dylan (featuring Johnny Cash) – Travelin’ Thru, 1967 – 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15” on Nov. 1. The set collects previously unreleased recordings from Dylan’s country-themed albums of the era, focusing on previously unavailable recordings made with Johnny Cash and unreleased [...]

  • Hailee Steinfeld photographed by Art Streiber

    Hailee Steinfeld Drops New Song From Apple TV Series ‘Dickinson’

    Oscar-nominated actress and singer Hailee Steinfeld dropped a new song on Thursday, “Afterlife (Dickinson)” from the upcoming Apple TV+ series “Dickinson,” in which she stars and serves as an executive producer. According to the announcement, Steinfeld drew lyrical inspiration from her character, Emily Dickinson, and the themes and ideas in many of her literary works. [...]

  • 'David Foster: Off the Record' Review:

    Toronto Film Review: 'David Foster: Off the Record'

    By the early 1970s, as the counterculture was dissolving and reconfiguring, there were new pop-star archetypes on the horizon that we still tend to think of — the glam rocker, the sensitive singer-songwriter, the hair-band metal strutter, the prog-rock wizard, the belting pop chanteuse, the punk rocker. But there was another figure of the era [...]

  • does self-described "family brands" business Hasbro

    With Hasbro Acquisition, Is eOne Planning to Offload Family-Unfriendly Properties?

    Hasbro’s $4 billion acquisition of eOne in August instantly put the Canadian toy giant in the league of major entertainment and content companies thanks to eOne’s arsenal of IP assets in music, television and film. But does the self-described “family brands” business that’s home to The Game of Life and My Little Pony align with [...]

  • Hopper Reserve

    Dennis Hopper's Dying Wish: His Own Strain of Marijuana

    Even as celebrity brands are starting to flood the emerging Cannabis market, Hopper Reserve stands out. The brand was launched by Marin Hopper, Dennis Hopper’s daughter from his marriage to Brooke Hayward. Hopper Reserve is a gram of California indoor-grown flower, two packs of rolling papers, a pair of matches and a trading card either [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content