Wherein unreasonably free time is dedicated to proving Jonah Hill is funnier than you.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Triptychal Patch (i.e. "Three Updates")

1) The latest album from Britney Spears has pushed Kanye West's "808s & Heartbreak" out of The Top 10 Debut Weeks of the year (which should have included Taylor Swift).

2) Although it's not completely out of theaters — and is slated for re-release next year — with approximately 75 million tickets sold, The Dark Knight is now the third most-seen superhero movie (population adjusted), and most seen in absolute numbers.

3) Harvard (296 Ghits) & Princeton (295 Ghits) have leapfrogged Columbia to become the Ivy League domain-name most-associated with hipsters. Dartmouth slips to the bottom. Order otherwise unchanged.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Counting O{n, ut} Kanye

Last July, MTV.com had a story comparing demand for the latest Miley Cyrus album to Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter 3." Despite the fact that Cyrus bettered the first-week of sales of her previous album by 14%, the article noted this was nowhere close to Wayne's sales. Never mind that the oft-delayed "Carter III" was the first album in 3-and-a-half years to sell a million in one week — somehow Cyrus fans were supposed to be insatiable despite placing TWO Hanna Montana CDs in the Top 20 the year prior. I chalked this up to MTV sensationalism and tried to forget it.

Today, however, Billboard.com had a story projecting Kanye's latest album to sell a "disappointing" 450k units in its debut. Things to keep in mind:
  1. Kanye's first 3 releases had been spaced apart over 2 years, but the space between "Graduation" & "808s & Heartbreak" was a little over a year. Indeed he was still touring based on his old albums while the "808s" singles were dropping.
  2. He's SINGING IN AUTO-TUNE THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE ALBUM. That's obviously going to polarize his fan base more than attract new people.
  3. Searching Billboard.com is a pain. It'd be like if Variety kept different box office charts for different genres, mentioned ticket sales for the first few movies, then only ranked the rest.
  4. This means he outsold "Chinese Democracy," an archetype of vaporwagner
  5. 450k units is not bad. That would put Kanye in the Top 10 this year:

Kanye's actually about in line with other pop solo stars like Usher, Mariah Carey, and Beyoncé, whose 482k-unit week Billboard considered "whopping." Never mind Kanye outright outsold a lot of other singers, including Madonna, Janet Jackson, Jack Johnson, and, yup Miley Cyrus.