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The Beatles' ''1'' tops the music charts

Plus, ”The Grinch” surpasses ”M:I-2” as the year’s highest grossing film, Sandra Bullock survives a plane crash, ”Spider-Man” casting is completed, and more

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John Lennon, Ringo Starr, ...
Beatles: MPTV

CHARTS The Beatles are No. 1 in the hearts and wallets of Christmas shoppers. The Fab Four’s singles collection ”1” sold a remarkable 823,000 copies this week as Americans frantically searched for last minute stocking stuffers. The album has sold more than 3.3 million domestically in just five weeks, making it the Beatles’ highest grossing anthology of all time.

Meanwhile, teen bands continued to dominate the rest of the charts this week. The Backstreet Boys remained in the No. 2 position, as an additional 566,000 copies of ”Black and Blue” headed for the gift wrap line. The chart topping compilation ”Now That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 5” (472,000) held fast at No. 3, while Creed‘s ”Human Clay” (No. 4: 375,000) and Britney Spears”Oops… I Did It Again” (No. 5: 271,000) rounded out the top five. But, of course, no one other than the Beatles can solve the inevitable problem of what to get your dad for the holidays (besides socks).

BOX OFFICE It’s official: The ”Grinch” is the meanest green machine around. Jim Carrey‘s Dr. Seuss adaptation has surpassed last summer’s blockbuster ”Mission: Impossible 2” as the highest grossing film of 2000. Universal’s seasonal offering has racked up $216.4 million in ticket sales, topping ”M:I-2”’s total of $215.4 million. Moreover, the family flick reached its impressive total in just 33 days — almost three months before ”M:I-2.” The Ron Howard directed picture is now Universal’s fifth highest grossing film ever, after ”E.T.,” ”Jaws,” ”Jurassic Park,” and its sequel ”The Lost World: Jurassic Park.” And most kids haven’t even had the chance to see it a third time!

ACCIDENT Sandra Bullock had a big scare yesterday. A plane carrying the ”Miss Congeniality” star and three other people missed a runway and crashed at a Jackson Hole, Wyo., airport. No one was hurt. But the corporate jet lost its nose landing gear, and both of its wings were extremely damaged. Authorities said that blizzard-like conditions made the landing ”difficult.” We’ll say.

”SPIDER-MAN” The casting list for the hotly anticipated comic book flick ”Spider-Man” is now complete. Veteran actors Cliff Robertson and Rosemary Harris will play Uncle Ben and Aunt May — the guardians of Tobey Maguire‘s Peter Parker. ”The Cider House Rules”J.K. Simmons has been cast in the role of J. Jonah Jameson, Parker’s boss at the Daily Bugle. The latest batch of stars will join previously cast Maguire, Kirsten Dunst (Mary Jane), and Willem Dafoe (the Green Goblin).

WEB NEWS So, why do websites like ours always have news about Britney Spears? It’s not just her nubile talent that makes Internet editors swoon. The teen chart topper has the most searched for name in the widely used Lycos engine this year. The ex Mousketeer narrowly beat the Japanese animated character Dragonball Z for the prize. Last year, she was No. 2. The Spears secret to Web success: Do everything you can to resemble a cartoon.

DEATHS 10,000 ManiacsRob Buck died of liver failure Wednesday in a hospital in Pittsburgh at the age of 42. Buck wrote several hits for the band including ”These Are Days,” ”Hey, Jack Kerouac,” and ”What’s the Matter Here?” Doctors diagnosed him with liver trouble several years ago, but his decline was more rapid than expected. ”He thought he had the flu. And then about three weeks ago, he collapsed and his mother found him. He was very near death then,” his publicist Blair Woods told Reuters. ”Rob had looked a lot older than he was for the last year and a half.” Buck last performed on Nov. 6 at a rally for Hillary Rodham Clinton. It is unclear whether the band will continue without him.