The Irish headed for the cinemas in droves last weekend, giving their home-grown Oscar hopeful Brooklyn the most successful Irish opening since Michael Collins in 1996.

Brooklyn opened on 87 Irish screens – that’s huge in Ireland – and earned some €650,000. That opening figure easily outpaced other Irish films such as Angela’s Ashes (€557,000) and The Guard (€570,000). U.K. audiences also responded well to Brooklyn, boosting the film’s box office take in the U.K. and Ireland to nearly €1.5 million.

Here in the U.S., Brooklyn only opened on five screens last weekend, in New York and Los Angeles, and did super business with an $181,000 take, a per screen average of $32,000. Distributor Fox Searchlight is ecstatic.

“With all of the strong competition out there, including Spotlight, Spectre, and Peanuts, we have been able to more than hold our own, and are already seeing the effects of the tremendous word of mouth that the picture is earning,” the studio said.

“Next weekend, we will add five new markets, including Washington, D.C., Phoenix, Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago, and will be in 23 total locations.” Brooklyn will further expand its reach over the Thanksgiving weekend.

The film’s star Saoirse Ronan has been on promotional duties in Los Angeles, popping up at all the right events. She hit the red carpet on Saturday night to attend the LACMA gala, one of the city’s top parties, with the likes of Kim Kardashian, Gwyneth Paltrow and Leonardo DiCaprio. She also spoke at an indie film event hosted by The Hollywood Reporter.

People magazine asked the 21-year-old rising star an interesting question. If she had to choose between her two suitors in Brooklyn, Emory Cohen or Domhnall Gleeson, who would she pick?

"You know I can't answer that," she laughed. "Listen there are two things on offer there: We've got a ginger on the one hand and then we've got a dark brooding Brando type on the other. They're different dudes but they're great. I don't know who I'd choose, they're both terrific."

Soairse Ronan in "Brooklyn."