PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – DECEMBER 11: Drummer Ashton Irwin and singer-songwriter Luke Hemmings … [+]
For much of the past tracking week, it was impossible to tell whether The Weeknd of 5 Seconds of Summer would end up on top of the Billboard 200 albums chart when the period wrapped, but now a winner has been named, and sadly, the champion only claims the throne because of human error.
The Weeknd’s new album After Hours holds at No. 1 for a second consecutive frame, moving another 138,000 equivalent units in its second stint on the Billboard 200. That sum is just 5,000 copies ahead of 5 Seconds of Summer’s Calm, which settles for second place this time around. Losing by that small a number will always be frustrating, but the Australian pop band really should have scored another leader.
Calm isn’t new to the Billboard 200 this week, as it actually opened on the chart last frame at No. 62, and this turn it vaults to second place. The title appeared on the list a week ago with 11,000 pure sales, but those copies were originally supposed to be counted now.
According to Billboard, those 11,000 copies were purchased by fans in advance and were accidentally fulfilled before the set’s proper street date of March 27, which led the chart company and publication to count them during a different tracking period. It sounds like a relatively simple mistake, but it ended up costing 5 Seconds of Summer big.
Had those 11,000 copies been fulfilled at the right time, Calm would have debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 144,000 equivalent copies, easily enough to beat The Weeknd. Instead, the group’s winning streak has been broken, as all of their previous full-lengths lifted to the highest rung on the chart.
Sadly, it looks like Calm won’t have another shot at capturing the throne, as the race for the No. 1 position on next week’s Billboard 200 appears to be between three artists (Rod Wave, Lil Uzi Vert and The Weeknd again), and it’s not clear if 5 Seconds of Summers’ latest will even make it to two frames inside the top 10.