According to Billboard.com, METALLICA's new "Death Magnetic" is projected to have sold in the neighborhood of 450,000-500,000 copies in the U.S. in its first three days of release (Friday-Sunday),with one unpredictable variable being a ticket/album bundle offered by Ticketmaster. The album was also packaged with "Guitar Hero" at Best Buy, sold through "Guitar Hero" platforms Xbox and Playstation and packaged with a METALLICA-branded set of headphones by Skull Candy.
"Death Magnetic", which received its official worldwide release Friday (September 12),was sold for $5 at Hot Topic retail stores for that day only. In addition, the store was offering a METALLICA T-shirt for the same price.
Traditionally, record labels release new albums in the U.S. on Tuesdays. However, METALLICA opted to make "Death Magnetic" available to the band's fans around the world on the same day.
METALLICA's last CD, "St. Anger", also had an unusual release date after Elektra Records decided to move up its release to Thursday, June 5, 2003 from Tuesday, June 10, 2003 "to ensure that counterfeit copies of the band's first studio album in six years do not proliferate in the marketplace," the label said at the time.
"St. Anger" sold 363,000 copies in its first full week of release to land at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 chart. The album shifted 418,000 copies in the U.S. in its first, shortened week on the streets.
METALLICA's "Re-Load" album sold 435,000 units during its first week in 1997, while 1996's "Load" opened at 680,000. 1991's self-titled "black album" debuted with 598,000 and has since gone on to sell more than 15.2 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.