AILMENT An injury sustained by Russell Crowe has resulted in the delay of his next film, the Jodie Foster directed ”Flora Plum.” While details of the accident were not disclosed, the ”Gladiator” star apparently damaged his shoulder while limbering up for the Depression era pic about a circus ”freak” (Crowe) who falls for an impecunious waif (Claire Danes). According to the Hollywood Reporter, production on the flick was supposed to begin in two weeks in Orlando, but doctors have ordered Crowe to undergo surgery at the end of September instead. The Oscar nominee was also recording with his Aussie rock group 30 Odd Foot of Grunts while training for the film in Austin.
MISSING TLC’s wild child Lisa ”Left Eye” Lopes ”disappeared without a trace shortly before Labor Day Weekend,” according to a report in the New York Post’s Page Six. Though no one knows whether Lopes intended to vanish, her friends and relatives are desperately hoping she returns soon. ”Lisa, if you’re reading this, please call us,” her publicist Matt Shelton said to Page Six. ”We’re very worried about you.” The hip hop bad girl – who has kept the tabloids busy in the past by torching her boyfriend’s house and fighting with fellow TLC members – was last seen by her business partner Ian Burke on Thursday. Burke told the paper that Lopes ”seemed fine.” But when she failed to appear at a scheduled press conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday, his concern grew. ”I don’t know whether or not she’s okay,” he said. ”At first, I thought she may have just wanted to get away for awhile. But then her assistant called me and said she never showed up for the press conference…. She’s never done anything like this before.”
MUSIC NEWS Stop the presses! A little known 42 year old crooner named Madonna has conquered the Billboard charts. Yes, the Material Mom’s latest single, ”Music,” the title track from her forthcoming album, just hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The track is Madonna’s 12th No. 1 hit, and 33rd top 10 entry – putting her in third place behind the Beatles (34) and Elvis Presley (38) on Billboard’s all-time list. This means that if any of the other yet to be released tracks on ”Music” (due out Sept. 18) prove hit worthy, the singer will surpass the Fab Four for top 10 hits. No doubt that’s ”Music” to Warner Bros.’ ears.
CHARTS Little changed among the top five selling albums this week, but there were a few surprising debuts in the top 20. Nelly’s ”Country Grammar” moved another 200,000 copies, making it the No. 1 record for the fourth week in a row. Likewise, Britney Spears’ ”Oops!… I Did It Again” (154,000 copies) hung on to second place, while Eminem’s ”Marshall Mathers LP” (145,000) remained at No. 3. Creed’s ”Human Clay” (131,000) shifted places with the compilation disc ”NOW That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 4” (118,000), taking fourth and fifth place respectively. The biggest debut of the week was DJ Clue’s ”Backstage Mixtape,” which moved 112,000 copies, for a No. 6 bow. And the most unsettling chart entrance? ”2Gether Again,” the phony MTV boy band’s sophomore ”effort” sold more than 50,000 copies for a No. 15 debut, according to Billboard. Last week, the mock prefab five’s single ”The Hardest Part of Breaking Up (Is Getting Your Stuff Back)” came in at No. 12 on the Billboard charts, a notch ahead of a REAL prefab pop band, ‘N Sync. Teens beware: We’ve heard that if you listen to ”Hardest” backwards, you can hear Mandy Moore saying, ”666, Aleister Crowley is God, 666, I want my MTV.”
TEEN POP Even though Britney Spears did NOT perform in Fox’s ”Music Mania 2000” – airing Sept. 15 and including the likes of ‘N Sync, 98 Degrees, and Sisqó – she will magically appear on the show, Launch reports. Producers plan to film performances of her hits ”Oops!… I Did It Again” and ”Lucky” at her upcoming show in Orlando and splice that footage into the special. Anything to get those boobs and bobbysocks on screen, right?
RATINGS ABC came out ahead in the post-”Survivor” hazing week. ”Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” reclaimed the top three positions in Nielsen’s weekly ratings chart (guess you remembered how much you used to looove that show). But the big surprise was the success of the Alphabet’s reality series ”Hopkins 24/7,” about doctors in Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. The real life ER drew about 12 million viewers – beating a rerun of the fictional ”ER” by about 3 million. Word is that the net found a real doctor who is almost as cute as George Clooney.
BOX OFFICE Disney has been crowned the winner of this summer’s box office race, with $390.2 million in ticket receipts, Variety reports. Early estimates predicted that Fox, with hits like ”X-Men” and ”Me, Myself & Irene,” would be the winner. But as it turns out the studio only racked up some $389.1 million in ticket sales (we KNEW we should have seen ”X-Men” 15 times instead of just 12). Disney’s ”Gone in Sixty Seconds,” ”Shanghai Noon” and ”Dinosaur,” meanwhile, helped bring the Mouse House to victory.
CASTING Heather Graham has another paycheck on the way. Variety reports that the ”Austin Powers” star has signed on to ”.45,” a dark comedy about a Bonnie and Clyde-esque couple who turn against each other…. Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Carlyle also have something new on their slate, according to the daily industry mag. The two will appear with British actors Emily Mortimer (”Disney’s The Kid”) and Rhys Ifans (”The Replacements”) in ”51st State,” an action flick cum comedy filmed in Liverpool.