Paramount Classics has signed a theatrical distribution output deal with Equinox Entertainment, which sees the Montreal-based producer-distributor releasing all its pictures in Quebec in French and English. Paramount Canada releases Classics pictures in the rest of Canada.

The first picture in the Paramount Classics deal, Sofia Coppola's Virgin Suicides, will open May 25 followed by Alain Berliner's Demi Moore-starrer Passion Of Mind. Other films in the deal include Doug McGrath and Peter Askin's Company Man, starring Sigourney Weaver, Denis Leary and John Turturro; and Sam Raimi's The Gift, featuring Cate Blanchett, Keanu Reeves and Hilary Swank.

In addition, Equinox has renewed its 1998 service agreement with Buena Vista Pictures. Disney, Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures fare in the distribution pipeline includes Jackie Chan's Shanghai Noon, Gone In Sixty Seconds, starring Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie, The Kid starring Bruce Willis and Lily Tomlin and live-action sequel 102 Dalmatians, with Glenn Close.

Equinox expects to release 30-35 films in Quebec in French and English this year. In addition, the company plans to produce six to eight films annually. It will announce its production slate later this summer.