We’ll have a better idea on Friday when we’ll do another update, but with two days of sales reporting, it looks like John Mayer’s “Battle Studies” has the early lead on coming in at No. 1 next week. 
 
This past Tuesday’s release slate was the busiest we’ve seen so far this fall as the labels ramp up for the official kick off of the holiday shipping season with many a superstar and superstars-in-training putting out new CDs, including Norah Jones, 50 Cent, Leona Lewis, Kris Allen, Them Crooked Vultures and Paul McCartney.
 
If sales patterns hold, Mayer will not just come in at No. 1, he will totally dominate, with sales more than double his nearest competitor, according to Hits Daily Double. The trade predicts “Battle Studies” will sell up to 300,000, while a number of release, including Jones’ “The Fall,” 50 Cents’ “Before I Self Destruct,” Andrea Bocelli’s “My Christmas” and contemporary Christian group “Casting Crowns’ "Until the Whole World Hears," all duke it out for second place. Each is expected to sell in the 140,000-160,000 range. Read our interview with Mayer here.
 
Canadian teen sensation Justin Bieber will sell more than 100,000, while “American Idol” winner Kris Allen is looking at around 80,000. “AI” fans will be closely watching to see how his sales compare with those of Adam Lambert’s, whose CD drops next week and then Allison Iraheta, whose debut comes shortly thereafter.
 
Also likely to debut in the top 10 are Them Crooked Vultures and Leona Lewis’s second set, “Echo” which is on target to sell 60,000, which seems awfully low, but it’s still good enough to come in ahead of Paul McCartney’s live DVD/CD “Good Evening New York City,” and OneRepublic’s  “Waking Up.”
 
The Hits Daily Double prognostications don’t include titles already out, such as this week’s chart-topper, Bon Jovi, or last week’s queen, Carrie Underwood, but chances are with so many new releases this week, both will drop out of the Top 10.