The odds were ever in its favor—sorry—and indeed, Hunger Games has come through on the album charts this week. The soundtrack, featuring solid-to-excellent songs from the likes of Taylor Swift, Arcade Fire, The Civil Wars and Kid Cudi (OK, Cud's contribution might fall a little short of the "solid" bar), debuts at #1, with about 175,000 in sales. The album, subtitled Songs from District 12 and Beyond, is the first soundtrack since (technically) Michael Jackson's This Is It LP in Nov. 2009, and the first legit V/A soundtrack since the Twilight: New Moon OST charts the week before MJ, to sit at pole position of the Billboard 200.
Elsewhere in the top ten, there are also debut efforts from The Shins (Port of Morrow, #3, 75k), Odd Future (The OF Tape Vol. 2, #5, 40k), Melanie Fiona (The MF Life, #7, 34k) and one-time Best New Artist winner Esperanza Spaulding (like Marissa Tomei's Oscar, can't take that away from her—Radio Music Society, #10, 27k). And though she hasn't been #1 for three weeks now, Adele is still forever lurking, holding at #2 this week with another yeah-whatever 130k sold of 21, bringing her to about 8.3 million sold total. Whitney Houston is still hanging around as well, coming in at #9 this week with 28k sold of her Greatest Hits, a top ten fixture since Whitney's untimely death a month and a half ago.
Next week, the #1 album will likely come courtesy of Madonna's MDNA, which is being projected for 325-350k in first-week sales—unless of course, so many people buy the Bieber single that they decide to count it as an album just because. Could happen.