"Filly Brown,' which features the late Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera in a supporting role, debuted with a strong $1.3 million at the specialty box office this weekend.
The film, written by Youssef Delara who co-directs with Michael D. Olmos, follows a promising hip-hop rhymer from Los Angeles (Gina Rodriguez) who finds herself in a gray area when a record producer offers her a compromising shot at stardom.
Lou Diamond Phillips co-stars, along with Edward James Olmos and Rivera (photo above), in the only movie she appeared in prior to her death in plane crash last December.
"Filly Brown," a Pantelion/Indomina release, averaged $7,250 in the 188 theaters in which it opened. Pantelion is a joint-venture by Lionsgate and Televisa focused on the U.S. Latino film market.
Audiences, which broke down 71 percent female and 41 percent under 25, gave it an "A-" CinemaScore.
Samuel Goldwyn Films' faith-based baseball tale "Home Run" scored $1.6 million in its debut.
That's an average of $4,260 on its 381 screens for the film, which is about a star player's battle with alcohol addiction. Scott Elrod stars and David Boyd directs.
The distributor said that a significant grassroots outreach which tapped into the film's target Christian demographic helped.
Kino Lorber opened the the documentary "Ain't It For My Health: A Film About Levon Helm" on a single screen and it took in $10,000.
The news wasn't as good for Rob Zombie's "The Lords of Salem." The Anchor Bay horror film opened on 355 screens and took in $622,000 for a $1,752 average.