Disney keeps 2 pix in family

Hollywood Pictures to distribute

“Gun Shy” and “Duets” — two acquisitions financed via negative pickups by Buena Vista Film Sales, the acquisitions and sales arm of the Walt Disney Co. — have found distribution through Hollywood Pictures.

Disney’s Buena Vista Intl. will distribute “Gun Shy” in English-language territories and a chunk of Latin America. “Duets” will be distribbed in English-language territories, Spain and Japan, as well as several other countries. Third parties have purchased distribution rights for both films in the rest of the world.

“Gun Shy,” starring Liam Neeson, Oliver Platt and Sandra Bullock, was produced by Bullock and her Fortis Films. Pic is a black comedy about an undercover agent who looses his nerve while in the middle of a case.

The film, written and directed by first-time helmer Eric Blakeney, is scheduled to reach theaters Feb. 4.

“Duets,” directed by Bruce Paltrow and produced by Kevin Jones from a John Byrum screenplay, is expected to be released early next year.

“Duets” is an ensemble piece starring Gwenyth Paltrow, Andre Brougher (“Homicide: Life on the Streets”), Maria Bello (“Coyote Ugly), Paul Giamatti (“Man in the Moon”), Scott Speedman (“Felicity”) and recording artist Huey Lewis.

Pic is a lighthearted look at karaoke seen through the eyes of six people.

“Duets” and “Gun Shy” were produced outside of the mainstream Disney studio production channels.

Bullock said working with BVFS: “allowed me to retain an indie feel to the production coupled with being able to accomplish what we needed to accomplish as far as the budget. That might not have been possible under other circumstances.”

Bruce Paltrow, who spent several years getting “Duets” off the ground, said: “Working for Jere (Hausfater) was incredible. He gave us great creative freedom.”

As far as working with his daughter, Paltrow noted, “I did everything she said I should.”

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