Friday, December 19, 2008

BCI Eclipse falls under the gun

Just as it was starting to come into its own, the DVD label BCI Eclipse has been shut down by parent company Navarre Corporation.

The sad news comes from Mark Pollard at Kung Fu Cinema.

BCI Eclipse had acquired the rights to some of Tony Jaa's pre-Ong-Bak efforts with Panna Rittikrai. A forthcoming release, Hard Gun, was planned for January 6, but now it's uncertain what will become of that.

Previous BCI Eclipse releases have included Tony's and Panna's Spirited Killer as well DVDs and Blu-rays of the Mono Film action-fantasies, The Tiger Blade and Vengeance.

Navarre said BCI Eclipse had not been profitable for the past two years. The company is being shut down as part of a restructuring effort by Navarre in an effort “to deal with the effect of the recession", Navarre CEO Cary Deacon is quoted as saying in a press release.

BCI Eclipse was purchased by Navarre in 2003. The label had previously been known as Brentwood and was notorious for its box-set releases of public-domain works and unlicensed films. But as BCI Eclipse, the company had big plans, acquiring the rights to release some of Celestial's Shaw Brothers films, some Rarescope titles and springing some old kung-fu classics from the Miramax vaults.

Pollard has the last word:

What will become of these titles as well as BCI’s other unreleased martial arts films is up for speculation at this point. Navarre may let this most recent round of releases through and sift through the remaining library in order to decide which titles to keep or discard/sell off. We’ll have to wait and see.

Update: Toronto J-Film Pow-Wow, Jason Gray and Outcast Cinema also weigh in on BCI Eclipse's closure, and have details about more of the company's planned releases.

(Via Kung Fu Cinema)

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