Lady Gaga’s latest endeavor, ARTPOP, has garnered some fairly lukewarm reviews from critics, and now it looks like audiences are responding similarly. Well, to a point, at least. ARTPOP is still entering the charts at #1, just like Born This Way did in 2011. However, this latest record took a 75% sales drop from that last one, moving 258,000 units in its opening week. Born This Way sold 1.1 million. (Yes, there was that whole 99-cent deal on Amazon, but even taking out the estimated 350,000 to 400,000 sales through that promotion, that still leaves ARTPOP with more than a 50% deficit.)
To compare, two other major pop releases of the year, Miley Cyrus’s Bangerz and Katy Perry’s Prism, opened with respective sales numbers of 270,000 and 286,000. Last week, Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP 2 hit 792,000, the second largest sales behind Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience (Drake’s Nothing Was the Same takes third with 658,000).
While a number one hit and nearly a quarter million records sold isn’t a straight-out flop, the numbers aren’t healthy compared to her previous releases or the early estimates of roughly 300,000. Interscope Records put a $25 million push behind ARTPOP, and some reports are saying the sales figures are so low they could even force layoffs at the label. Conversely, Kanye West’s Yeezus had nowhere near the promotion behind it, and that record moved 327,000 in its first week.
Gaga apparently hasn’t benefited from the typical post-SNL bump after dry humping with R. Kelly on the show, but the Little Monsters are still numerous enough to earn her the number one spot. Our bet is that final show at Roseland Ballroom sells out in a hot minute, too.