The numbers are in, and at 968,000 copies sold, Justin Timberlake‘s critically-lauded third LP The 20/20 Experience has posted the best opening week since Taylor Swift‘s Red moved 1.2 million in November. While these isn’t the biggest first week in JT’s career — his former boy band *NSYNC‘s second album No Strings Attached opened with a record-setting 2.42 million back in 2000 — as far as his solo career goes, this trumps the 684,000 FutureSex/LoveSounds sold out of the gate in 2006 (not to mention Justified‘s 439,000 in 2002).
Billboard notes that the bulk of The 20/20 Experience‘s sales came from iTunes and Target. The latter is selling a deluxe version of the album that contains the bonus tracks “Body Count” and “Dress On.”
So where does Timberlake go from here? For one, the album’s lead single “Suit & Tie” is currently a fixture in the Hot 100′s Top 10 (it’s nicely positioned at #4), while follow-up “Mirrors” shot back into the Top 40 last week after JT’s performance of the song on Saturday Night Live (and just before the video premiered). The success of both singles should keep sales of The 20/20 Experience strong in the coming months.
The singer also confirmed that a sequel to the album is on the way…at some point. “I’ve got to clear up the rumors,” Timberlake said during an interview with Ryan Seacrest last week. “The whole thing about this only being the first part… is true. There is another half. [But] I’m not giving you a release date.”
Something to look forward to. For now, though, unbutton the suit and loosen your tie, JT. You deserve to kick back.