Britney Spears' Circus sold 505,000 CD's in the first week on the market. Add to that 286,000 downloads of the single Womenizer, and you have a pretty healthy first week of sales.
I'm not suggesting that this is ground-breaking or even long lasting music, but it does prove that there is still a market for plastic shiny discs from popular artists, despite what the Music 2.0 naysayers may say. Considering that this was a rather low-key release (as opposed to G n' R, who sold only 286,000 first week after a huge marketing campaign), Britney's team should be commended for going Gold right out of the box despite the hard economic times and difficulty finding the product to buy (there's not many brick and mortar CD retailers these days).
But next week will tell the tale, since a large sales drop-off has become the norm. Just how large a drop-off will really be an indicator of the album's success.