U2 are due to announce a world tour on Monday
U2 are on course to score their 10th UK number one album, outselling the rest of the top 10 combined on Monday.
The group's 12th album No Line on the Horizon sold 69,800 copies on its first day on sale, Mercury Records said.
That is four times more than its nearest rival, The Prodigy's Invaders Must Die. But it is less than other big releases of recent months.
Last December, Take That sold 133,000 albums on day one, while Coldplay sold 125,000 copies of Viva La Vida in June.
The first single from No Line on the Horizon, Get On Your Boots, failed to reach the UK top 10, peaking at number 12.
The band are currently in the US, playing as the house band on David Letterman's TV show every day for a week.
New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has temporarily renamed part of West 53rd Street U2 Way in their honour.
The group are expected to announce plans for a world tour on Monday. Manager Paul McGuinness has said it will be a "revolutionary production" where the band are "surrounded by the audience".