Photo: Jenni Rivera's Final Film, 'Filly Brown', Performs Well at Box Office
Though Tom Cruise’s Oblivion was the clear box office winner this weekend, bringing in $38 million, Filly Brown, did not go unnoticed.
The film, one of the late Jenni Rivera’s final projects and her first (only) bigscreen role, debuted with $1.3 million, and nabbed an ‘A-’ rating from Cinema Score.
Filly Brown tells the story of Maria Jose ‘Majo’ Tonorio (newcomer Gina Rodriguez), a tough LA street poet who spits from the heart. After meeting a talented DJ she cuts her first demo under the guidance of a small time hustler more interested in promoting Majo’s sexuality than her lyrics. Soon a major label and its strong-arm executive come calling. Convinced that a record deal will deliver much needed money for the family, Majo is suddenly faced with some stark choices. Does she accept the deal and turn her back on the friends who got her to the precipice of success or does she let a golden opportunity slip away.
Rivera plays Majo’s imprisoned, drug-addicted mother Maria Tonorio.
The film was distributed by Pantelion Films in a joint venture with Lionsgate and Telivisa.
On Wednesday, Rivera’s family attended a screening of the film at the Regal Cinemas L.A. Live Stadium 14.
After greeting fans and meeting with members of the press, Pedro Rivera, the late singer-actress’ father, told Billboard, ‘She had love for her fans. When someone is so passionate and loves what they do the results speak for themselves.’
The film did well at the specialty box office, with Pantelion’s chairman James M. McNamara saying the film was expected to do well in Los Angeles, Houston, Phoeniz, San Francisco and other cities with large Latino populations.
‘What we’ve tried to do is tap into that tremendous fan base that Jenni had,’ McNamara told Billboard. ‘Those fans have reacted positively to the film. She’s a very good actress.’