OMAHA, Nebraska -- Ballantyne Strong, Inc. (NYSE Amex: BTN), a provider of digital cinema projection equipment and services, cinema screens and other cinema products, today reported financial results for the second quarter (Q2) and six months ended June 30, 2010.

Second Quarter Results

Ballantyne Strong's net revenues rose 67% to $32.7 million, an all-time quarterly record, reflecting a significant increase in digital cinema equipment sales as well as year-over-year sales gains from cinema screens and digital cinema services. Net earnings rose to $2.8 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, compared to net earnings of $0.9 million, or $0.07 per diluted share a year-ago. Q2 2010 results were positively impacted by approximately $1.3 million ($0.8 million after-tax) of equity income and gains pertaining to the Company's 44.4% ownership in the Digital Link II, LLC joint venture during the quarter. The income primarily resulted from the sale of projectors that were previously held within the joint venture and compares to a net loss from the joint venture of $0.2 million in Q2 2009.

Sales of digital cinema equipment rose 97% to $19.7 million, reflecting growing global demand for digital projection systems, primarily in the Americas and China. Ballantyne's cinema screen sales increased approximately 45% to $4.5 million in Q2 2010, largely due to the ongoing worldwide adoption of 3D digital cinema technology, the bulk of which requires a specialty "silver" screen. Cinema services revenue nearly doubled to $2.1 million, reflecting the mid-April commencement of the Company's agreement with a major US exhibitor to handle their digital projection equipment installations and systems integration. To date, these installs and integrations have been running smoothly.

Consolidated gross profit rose to $6.0 million, or 18.2% of revenue in Q2 2010, from $4.3 million, or 21.7% of revenue in Q2 2009. The expected decline in gross profit margin reflects the increase in sales of digital projection equipment that carry lower margins than most of the Company's other products and services. SG&A rose 12.6% to approximately $3.0 million, but fell significantly as a percentage of net revenues to 9.1%, compared to 13.5% in Q2 2009. Ballantyne remains focused on limiting the growth in SG&A expenses in order to drive operating leverage.

Six-Month Results

For the six-month period ended June 30, 2010, net revenues rose 58.1% to $58.1 million. Gross profit in the first half of 2010 was $10.3 million, or 17.7% of net revenues, compared to first half 2009 gross profit of $7.6 million, or 20.8% of net revenues. Net earnings for the first six months of 2010 was $3.8 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, compared to net earnings of $1.5 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, in the first half of 2009.

Balance Sheet Update

Ballantyne generated $3.3 million in cash from operating activities and ended the quarter with $24.1 million in cash and cash equivalents, compared to $23.6 million at December 31, 2009.

John P. Wilmers, President and CEO, commented, "Sales and service momentum accelerated in the second quarter as the worldwide digital cinema rollout picked up additional steam due to the completion of digital cinema equipment funding for the three largest domestic exhibitors and a desire by other global exhibitors to capitalize on the success and expanding pipeline of 3D releases and alternative digital content. This momentum had an obvious positive impact on Ballantyne's 2010 first half operating results as our digital cinema business is benefiting from an increasing number of NEC digital projector sales in the Americas and China, a sharp ramp-up in digital cinema service installations and our cinema screen manufacturing business, which has been operating at full capacity in recent months.

"Given the growing backlog for cinema screens, we recently acquired our existing Canadian manufacturing facility and a parcel of adjacent land. We are undertaking a previously announced $6 million expansion of this facility, including the cost of the acquisition, with the goal of materially increasing our capacity to meet growing global demand for conventional, large-format, gain, silver and other specialized cinema screens. We expect to have this important expansion completed by year-end."


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HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Paramount Pictures, Participant Media and Walden Media announced today 30,000 people have pledged to see the award-winning documentary film Waiting for "Superman" when it opens this fall, making it the first goal reached on the campaign's "Pledge Progress Meter." As a result, is fulfilling their commitment and donating $5 gift cards to every person who pledges to see the film by September 15th.

The gift cards can be used to fulfill requests made by public school teachers from every corner of America who post classroom project needs on The mission of is to improve public education by empowering every teacher to be a change-maker and enabling any citizen to be a philanthropist.

"Thanks to our generous supporters, is thrilled to provide $5 philanthropic gift codes to people that take the pledge to see Waiting for 'Superman.' Redeeming this code on gives people an immediate and direct way to help students get the resources they need to learn. Making this personal connection to a classroom is an important first step towards greater involvement in education," said Charles Best, Founder and CEO.

Waiting for "Superman" directed by Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) will be released under the Paramount Vantage banner and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It examines the crisis of public education in the United States through multiple interlocking stories. Designed to start a national conversation, the movie and corresponding "Take the Pledge" campaign aim to inspire everyone to create innovative and long-term solutions to help change the course of our kids' lives for the better. The "Pledge Progress Meter" launched in May as a way for non-profits, foundations and corporations to match individual pledge levels with powerful action items aimed at helping both students and public schools. First Book was the first organization to take the pledge, by agreeing to donate 250,000 new books to schools and programs in low-income communities across the country once the pledge meter reaches 50,000 pledges.

The film opens in New York and Los Angeles on September 24, nationwide in October.

The film is produced by Lesley Chilcott, with Participant Media's Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann serving as executive producers. It is written by Davis Guggenheim & Billy Kimball.


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Source: Variety

Director Richard Linklater and Jack Black will team up for the second time on Bernie, a new dark comedy that will also star Shirley MacLaine. The film focuses on a community leader who makes friends with a wealthy widow.

Linklater and Black worked together on School of Rock, which remains one of Black's biggest hits with $81.3 million domestically during its theatrical run.

Black will next be seen in Gulliver's Travels this fall. As for Linklater, he hasn't directed anything since Me and Orson Welles with Zac Efron and Christian McKay.

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