The project debuted on the chart with 444,000 equivalent album units with 275,000 consisting of album sales, Billboard reports. After Hours had the biggest debut week for an album in 2020 thus far, with BTS’ Map of the Soul: 7 just behind it with 422,000 units from early March. It’s also the personal best week for Abel Tesfaye. Previously, his last album with the biggest debut was 2015’s Beauty Behind the Madness with 412,000 units.
After Hours would've secured the No. 1 spot over Lil Uzi Vert's Eternal Atake, which finished in second with 115,000 units, on its streaming numbers alone. The Weeknd's latest album amassed 163,000 SEA units, which amounts to 220.7 million on-demand streams of the project's tracks in its first week.
After Hours was given an additional boost in sales from a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer for the singer’s forthcoming tour, which is scheduled to launch on June 11. Sales were also pushed by 50 merchandise/album bundles from The Weeknd’s web store.
It’s his first release since he dropped 2018’s My Dear Melancholy EP, which opened at No. 1. His last full-length LP was Starboy, which also debuted at No. 1 in 2016.
There was a chance that Tesfaye’s album wasn’t going to release during the coronavirus pandemic. TMZ reports that music executives wanted the singer to hold off, but he had already announced the project would release on March 20, prior to the pandemic taking hold of the country.
As the situation in America got worse, music execs thought the album would flop since a lot of promo and marketing opportunities had been canceled. However, The Weeknd took a gamble and went forward with the release. And After Hours immediately did numbers: it garnered 100 million streams during its first day and took over the top 12 slots on the Apple Music Global 100 chart.