Joel Schumacher's Veronica Guerin began its worldwide roll out in Ireland over the weekend - and opened to exceptionally strong business.

After a world premiere in Dublin on Tuesday night and a special preview screening at the Galway Film Fleadh, the story of the Irish investigative journalist took the number one spot with Euros342,074 from its opening weekend and an additional Euros51,321 from previews.

Its strong debut surpassed the previous weekend's number one opening tally for Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle by nearly Euros50,000.

BVI have released 61 prints of Veronica Guerin to 53 sites following an extensive 48 sheet outdoor campaign, in addition to widespread use of the four and six sheet posters. There has also been a strong TV and print advertising campaign prior to the opening and this will be augmented by radio and additional print advertising for the coming weekend when two extra sites and prints will be added.

Brendan McCaul, VP and general manager BVI (Irl), while declining to say how much the campaign cost, said he was "extremely pleased with the figures, especially given the competition in the cinemas at the moment and the good weather over the weekend. I thought it was looking good when exhibitors told me on Friday that advance booking was very strong, right into this week, and that has been borne out by Monday's gross of about Euros90,000."

McCaul expects in the region of Euros800,000 from the first week and predicts that the drop-off on the second weekend will be lower than usual. The slower drop-off from weekend to weekend combined with a good mid-week performance is a sure sign in Ireland that a film is appealing to a wider demographic than the norm.