Kanye West's Yeezus, due Tuesday on Def Jam, is expected to sell 500,000 copies its first week.
"That's what industry forecasters suggest," says Keith Caulfield, Billboard's associate director of charts/retail. "It's difficult to a degree to predict an album's sales until it actually goes on sale, but the closer you to are to the release date, the better you can tell. It's like a weather forecast."
The half-million mark would put the rapper's sixth studio album in the same ballpark as previous releases. Watch the Throne, 2011's collaboration with Jay-Z, opened with 436,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan. West's two most recent solo albums enjoyed similar launches: 2010's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy with 496,000, and 2008's 808s & Heartbreak with 450,000. Both were released during Thanksgiving week.