inceptionnews2.pngSource: Deadline.com

Leonardo DiCaprio will play a serial killer in an adaptation of Erik Larson's best-selling novel, Devil in the White City. The story follows a doctor who murdered anywhere between 27-200 people while Chicago was hosting the World's Fair in 1893.

DiCaprio is coming off the massive success of Inception, which has raked in more than $800 million worldwide. That gives him more than enough clout to tackle a role that is bound to be controversial and daring.

The Oscar-nominated actor also recently committed to starring in Hoover--a biopic about famed FBI director J. Edgar Hoover--for Clint Eastwood.

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OMAHA, Neb. -- Ballantyne Strong, Inc. (NYSE Amex: BTN), a provider of digital cinema projection equipment and services, cinema screens and other cinema products, announced today the appointment of Gary L. Cavey, 61, effective today, as its President and CEO. Mr. Cavey has also joined the Ballantyne Board of Directors concurrent with his appointment as President and CEO. Mr. Cavey's appointment is the culmination of an extensive, yearlong search to find a successor to John Wilmers, 66, who has retired as President, CEO and member of the Board of Directors. In September 2009 Ballantyne and Mr. Wilmers initiated a CEO transition process, providing approximately two years to identify and confirm a new CEO prior to Mr. Wilmers' planned retirement by year-end 2011. Mr. Wilmers will remain with Ballantyne over the next 14 months to work through the CEO transition and will be primarily involved in expanding Ballantyne's growing Asian business efforts.

Mr. Cavey brings 31 years of management experience and substantial accomplishments to Ballantyne. Since 2009 he has served as COO of Midland Radio Corporation, an international industry leader in the manufacture and sale of two-way wireless communications systems for consumer and industrial applications, where he has led a successful turnaround.

William F. Welsh II, Chairman of the Board, stated: "Over the past 14 years, John Wilmers successfully navigated Ballantyne through a period of substantial industry change. He has played an instrumental role in transforming the Company into a leading provider of digital cinema products and services, achieving record revenues in the second quarter of this year. We believe Gary Cavey possesses the requisite management talent, international experience and leadership skills to build upon Ballantyne's strong industry position. We are confident in his ability to leverage our seasoned senior management team, long-term industry reputation, global footprint and substantial financial resources to drive continued growth and bottom line performance at Ballantyne."

From 1999 to 2008, Mr. Cavey was President/CEO & Chairman of MAC Equipment, Inc., a leading manufacturer and marketer of pneumatic conveying and air filtration systems serving numerous industries. Under Mr. Cavey's leadership, sales at MAC doubled to $95 million with significant growth in profitability, paving the way for MAC's sale on very favorable terms. From 1994 to 1998, Mr. Cavey was President and COO of the Industrial Products Group of Valmont Industries, a NYSE-listed producer of commercial and industrial products for a variety of applications and end markets including utilities, government, communications, etc. Mr. Cavey played an instrumental role in driving operating income growth of 15% per year at this Valmont unit with annual revenue of $350 - $400 million. From 1981 to 1994, Mr. Cavey held marketing and sales positions of increasing responsibility with Valmont.

Mr. Cavey has a BS in Marketing/Management from the University of Nebraska and a Senior Management Degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has also completed graduate studies at the University of Georgia and University of Michigan business schools. He is currently a Director at McCain, Inc., a manufacturer of parking, traffic and transportation solutions.

John Wilmers commented, "My 29-year tenure at Ballantyne has been an enormously rewarding personal and professional experience for which I am very thankful. It would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of the amazing team at Ballantyne, as well as the ongoing confidence, trust and support of our customers and partners. I look forward to assisting Gary in the transition and introducing him to customers, partners and the investment community over the coming months as well as focusing on the significant opportunities we see in Asia."

 

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"We're pleased to report significant year-over-year cash flow and earnings improvements in the third quarter, particularly given our reduced screen count compared to the same period in 2009. Nearly 85% of the top line revenue growth was retained in Theatre Level Cash Flow, a clear indication that costs were held in check and incremental revenues improved our profitability. We averaged 40 less screens in the quarter compared to last year and believe our strategy of closing underperforming locations and focusing on the patron movie-going experience is working. During the third quarter, Carmike's box office receipts increased 2.7% on a per screen basis, compared to the prior year period. Despite a solid 3-D slate of movies during the quarter, the mix of 2-D product did not perform as well in our markets. Certain high-grossing movies such as "Inception" and "Salt" performed well in large metropolitan markets but significantly underperformed in small towns," stated Carmike Cinemas President and Chief Executive Officer David Passman.

"During the third quarter, approximately 23 percent of our box office revenues came from 3-D presentations and with ten titles in the fourth quarter and more than 30 anticipated next year we are working to meet the increasing demand. We installed over 40 additional 3-D screens, finishing the period with 591 3-D-compatible auditoriums. We will also be opening more of our proprietary BigD brand, large format 3-D auditoriums throughout the coming months."

In aggregate, Carmike's patrons spent an average of $9.97 per visit during the third quarter, up 3.5 percent compared to the year-ago period. Average admissions rose 2.3 percent to $6.61, with 3-D premiums driving the year-over-year rise. Concessions and other revenue per patron also rose for the third consecutive quarter, increasing 6.0 percent to $3.36 compared to the prior year period.

Carmike Chief Financial Officer Richard B. Hare stated, "On the expense side, film exhibition costs improved 70 basis points to 55.2 percent of admissions revenues as a result of reduced film rent costs and a decline in advertising expenses, versus 55.9 percent in the year-ago period. General and administrative expenses rose to $4.4 million, primarily as a result of increases in legal and professional fees associated with our previously announced Screenvison transaction. Carmike's other theatre operating costs rose slightly, year-over-year, due primarily to a rise in occupancy costs and utility expenses, which was partially offset by reduced repair and maintenance costs."

Mr. Hare continued, "Quarterly interest expense rose to $8.8 million, versus $7.6 million from the prior year period, due to an increase in interest rates, partially offset by a decrease in average debt outstanding as we voluntarily pre-paid an additional $5 million in bank debt during the third quarter. We have made $25 million in bank debt prepayments for the first nine months of 2010, reducing our balance to $238 million at quarter-end."

"Subsequent to quarter-end, we completed an important transaction in which we extended and expanded our relationship with cinema advertising leader Screenvision. In addition to our regular periodic screen advertising payments, we will receive a $30 million up-front payment in the first quarter of 2011 and hold an approximate 20% ownership interest in the growth of Screenvision. We are excited about the new growth path Screenvision is embarking upon and we look forward to participating in the future growth and profits of that organization as digital cinema continues its rapid expansion," concluded Mr. Passman.

 

 

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), a leading motion picture exhibitor owning and operating the largest theatre circuit in the United States, announced today that the industry-leading customer loyalty program, Regal Crown Club, will celebrate ten years by honoring its most dedicated members. In 2011 Regal Crown Club will reach its 10 year anniversary. In celebration, Regal is creating a new Elite status to recognize the most loyal movie theatre patrons.

With more than six million active members, Regal Crown Club is the number one theatre loyalty program in the country. Loyalty club members account for over 25% of the total admissions for Regal Entertainment Group. The Regal Crown Club began in 2001 as a way to reward Regal's frequent moviegoers. Through the Regal Crown Club, moviegoers accumulate credits at the box office and concession stand to earn free popcorn, soft drinks and movies.

"We are excited to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of our Regal Crown Club loyalty program and also to honor our Elite Members," stated Greg Dunn, President and COO of Regal Entertainment Group. "Through the Regal Crown Club, millions of patrons show their preference for our theatres and their loyalty is greatly appreciated. Elite status further rewards our most frequent guests and encourages all Regal Crown Club members to accumulate more credits to achieve their own Elite status."

Ten Regal Crown Club members with the highest credit totals will be the first inducted into the new Elite status this fall. Since the program's inception, the Top 10 Elite members each accumulated more than 16,000 credits. These 10 members will receive a specially-designed Regal Crown Club Elite membership card embossed with their name. The Top 10 Elite Members will also receive a prize package including a $250 Regal Entertainment Group gift card, a commemorative clapboard award for their outstanding loyalty, and various movie memorabilia.

The Regal Crown Club anniversary celebration will continue in 2011 when the program honors additional members who have accumulated 10,000 or more credits on their loyalty cards. These Elite Members will receive a prize package including a $50 Regal Entertainment Group gift card and movie memorabilia.

In addition to earning free popcorn, soft drinks and movies, Regal Crown Club members can also participate in the following benefits:

* Enjoy Dollar Days - $1 featured candy every Monday and $1 small popcorn on Tuesdays.
* Create a personal online account to watch RCC credits build and view exclusive offers.
* Receive monthly online Regal Crown Club newsletter communications.
* Receive emails about special movie promotions and programs in your area.
* Win great prizes through various member sweepstakes throughout the year.
* Earn Extra Credits toward free popcorn, soft drinks and movies.

Regal Crown Club membership is free and open to everyone 13 years of age and older. Membership is obtainable at any Regal Entertainment Group theatre or online at www.REGmovies.com.

 

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