Peter Mullan's critically acclaimed feature The Magdalene Sisters saw a mighty opening in the country where it is set, Ireland, last week for distributor Momentum Pictures.

The drama, which won the Golden Lion at this year's Venice Film Festival, has taken $252,100 (£162,100) from 31 screens as of Wednesday Oct 30, after opening on Friday Oct 25. This gives the film an impressive average of $8,132 per screen.

Taking full advantage of the Irish bank holiday weekend the film's Saturday takings rose 37% over Friday, followed by a 14% rise on Sunday and another 14% jump on Monday. An unsurprising post-weekend drop off of 33% on Tuesday was however countered by a10% bounce-back on Wednesday.

Momentum will expand the release this Friday and is expected to open The Magdalene Sisters in the UK in the first quarter of 2003.

The film has also enjoyed a successful release in Italy. Distributor Lucky Red opened it on August 30 and has since taken an impressive $3m in the territory. It has spent seven of its nine weeks on release in the top 10, where it still resides.