CHARTS The world’s favorite boy band has done it again. The Beatles dominate the Billboard chart for a fourth consecutive week, as another 451,250 copies of the compilation album ”1” left stores over the holidays. The hit compendium, ”Now! That’s What I Call Music 5” (319,700) moved up a notch to No. 2, as Shaggy‘s ”Hot Shot” (280,725) jumped two spots to the No. 3 position. Limp Bizkit‘s Chocoloate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water’‘ (258,815) also moved up two places to No. 4 — marking its first appearance in the top five in weeks. Likewise, the renascent rapper Snoop Dogg has returned to the big time as his buzz heavy ”Tha Last Meal” sails over four spots to No. 5. Meanwhile, the Backstreet Boys are the week’s big losers. ”Black & Blue” (171,075) tumbled seven spots to No. 9. Too bad there are no Grammys for short lived holiday season success.
OSCAR The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is taking extra precautions this year: A backup set of Oscar statuettes has been ordered, just in case the first ones disappear. ”We plan to always have enough to be one year ahead,” John Pavlik, spokesman for the Academy, told the Associated Press. Of course, last year, the 55 gold trophies were kidnapped while en route to Los Angeles from the Chicago manufacturer. Right before the ceremony, a mysterious Dumpster diver named Willie Fulgear recovered all but three in a trash bin. By then the Academy had already ordered a spare set of Oscars. So that means there is already a surplus of awards this year. But the ever cautious organizers are also planning to ship the statuettes via air instead of ground — once again, just in case. ”I don’t think it’ll happen again, but you never know,” Pavlik said. ”I couldn’t believe what happened last year.” We concur. Who would’ve thought a ”90210” alum would win Best Actress?
CROSSOVER Sisqó‘s got three Grammy nominations and a brand new film gig. The ”Thong Song” man is in negotiations to costar with Cuba Gooding Jr. and James Coburn in ”Winter Dance.” The film is about dog sled racing. Good, Sisqó will know a lot about that.
CASTING Robert Altman isn’t suffering too much for the embarrassments of ”Dr. T and the Women.” A large collection of high profile stars is lining up for the pleasure of appearing in his next film, ”Gosford Park.” Jude Law, Emily Watson, and Kristin Scott Thomas are among those who are clamoring for a role in the British period ensemble piece. Guess they figure the odds are now in favor of a decent Altman film…. Joaquin Phoenix has another paycheck on the way. He’ll join Claire Danes in a romance from Danish director Thomas Vinterberg, ”It’s All About Love.” Still, as ”Gladiator” DVD sales rise, it might be tough for him to shake his sister lovin’ image.