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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol dominated the holiday box office for the second week running, pulling in an estimated $31.3 million. It was followed by Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which made an estimated $22.1 million, and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, which made $18.3 million. [via Moviefone]

2. Rupert Murdoch, the 80-year old chairman and CEO of News Corp, decided to join Twitter on New Year’s Eve; so far his @rupertmurdoch account, which has been verified, has amassed more than 50,000 followers. [via The Hollywood Reporter]

3. MTV has announced that a new season of Punk’d will premiere on March 19, with a rotating series of celebrity guest hosts that includes Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Kellan Lutz, Bam Margera, and Dax Shepard. [via Deadline]

4. Queen Elizabeth has appointed famed British painter David Hockney — who recently turned down a request to paint her portrait, and previously refused knighthood — to the Order of Merit, a “select group of individuals who have achieved distinction in the arts, learning, science and public service.” [via Guardian]

5. Fans of Terrence Malick’s Palme d’Or-winning headscratcher The Tree of Life might be interested in these revealing storyboards which feature sequences that were not included in the final film. [via The Playlist]

Bonus Buzz: Filipino Prisoners Inspire a Musical

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