Ratatouille scurried to the top of the international charts more than three months after its first overseas foray thanks to a $19.7m estimated weekend haul from 3,010 screens in 38 markets that towered over everything else.

The result was powered by a $12.2m number one German debut on 700 screens and furthers vindicated Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International's (WDSMPI) measured release strategy that avoided head-on confrontation with the summer's juggernauts and allowed the film's pedigree to fuel strong word of mouth.

The animated film's German debut grossed more than the combined tally of every other film in the top 10 and according to WDSMPI sources opened 5% higher than the launch of Shrek The Third and 40% higher than The Incredibles.

Ratatouille's $247m running total saw it overtake Toy Story 2's $239m to rank as Disney's 14th biggest international cumulative total, while $450m and counting marks the studio's 15th biggest worldwide tally.

With launches in the UK next week and Italy, Sweden, and China beyond that, executives expect the film to overtake Monsters Inc's $271m and finish on more than $300m.

There were several other number one launches. Austria produced $1.6m from 125 screens, which similarly eclipsed the combined tally of every other film in that territory's top 10. German-speaking Switzerland generated $905,000 from 125, which was enough to rank top in the entire country. Denmark produced $865,000 from 50.

Australia generated $1m from 283 in the fifth weekend to rank third on $10.3m, while Greece added $650,000 from 129 to stay top in the second on $1.6m, a result that saw Ratatouille overtake the final total of The Incredibles. France added $756,000 from 592 in the 10th week of an extraordinary run that has amassed $59m.

Underdog opened top in Argentina and overall grossed $1.9m from 859 screens in 12 territories at the weekend for $9.6m.

Sony Pictures Releasing International's (SPRI) comedy Superbad grossed $4.2m from 1,810 screens in 19 markets for $23m. It opened fourth in Germany on $1.2m including previews from 500 screens, and launched in fifth place in Mexico on $340,000 from 270.

Resident Evil: Extinction grossed $2.3m from 665 screens in six SPRI markets and $8.6m through all distributors for a $33.4m overall running total.

The zombie action film opened top in Brazil on $1.2m from 214 screens and launched in third in Sweden on $250,000 from 37.

Surf's Up added $2.8m from 2,010 in 33 markets for $54.4m. The highlight was Italy, where the animated features opened in fourth or fifth on $775,000 from 251.

Universal's thriller The Kingdom ventured into the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Bulgaria through UPI and grossed $3.2m from 745 sites. The film opened in second place the UK on $1.9m (£936,000) from 394. It ranked fourth in Australia on $1.1m from 165 dates and fifth in New Zealand with $180,000 from 45 venues.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry grossed $6.7m from 2,200 venues in 38 territories for $48.2m. The Bourne Ultimatum added $5.7m from 3,466 locations in 37 territories to raise the tally to $172m, and there was a good number one Greek debut launch on $600,000 from 55.

Evan Almighty grossed $3.1m from 1,180 locations in 32 for $67m. Atonement added $1.3m from 454 for $20.7m and ranks fourth in the UK, where $1.1m (£560,000) from 394 raised the tally to $19.3m (£9.6m). Knocked Up added $1.1m from 603 sites in 27 for $55.8m.

Universal had two local productions and one Focus feature open this weekend. Brazilian title Tropa De Elite opened in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janiero on an excellent $1m from 126 sites, which by comparison was 126% higher than the debut of City Of God and approximately the same as that of The Bourne Ultimatum. The film expands into 260 sites next weekend.

7 Mesas De Billar, a Spanish film that UPI is handling in Spain, launched in seventh place on $450,000 from 120 locations, which is the biggest debut for director Gracia Querejeta.

David Cronenberg's crime drama Eastern Promises opened top in Spain on $1.4m from 245, marking Cronenberg's biggest launch there.

Dreamworks-Paramount's The Heartbreak Kid opened through PPI in four territories on $5.7m from 876 locations. The comedy remake grossed $2.5m in the UK from 408, $2.4m in Russia from 360, and $416,000 from 45 in Portugal.

Stardust added $2.8m from 1,018 in 27 for $26.3m. It opened in 10 territories including Sweden on $301,000 from 40 and the Netherlands on $222,000 from 49.

A Mighty Heart grossed $616,000 from 564 screens in 14 territories for $5.3m, Shrek The Third took $1m from 678 in 64 to raise the cumulative score to $469.4m, and Disturbia added $689,000 from 930 in 59 for $35.7m.

Warner Bros Pictures International's (WBPI) crime thriller The Brave One grossed $4.1m from almost 2,100 prints in 26 markets for $14.8m. The romance No Reservations added $2.4m from 1,797 prints in 52 for $41.3m. Harry Potter And The Order of The Phoenix added $493,000 from 980 prints in 40 markets and stands at $644.7m.

Fox International's zombie horror film 28 Weeks Later added $1.2m from 650 screens in 14 markets for $34.4m. The Simpsons Movie raised its tally by $1m from three or four markets for $339m. The film added $924,000 in the fourth weekend in Italy and stands at $22.7m.

Family adventure The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising opened in four markets and took $640,000 from 250 screens. The film took $487,000 from 195 in Australia. Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer added $515,000 from 550 in two for a Fox total of $150m that excludes Germany and Austria. The film added $500,000 in the third weekend in Japan from 540 screens for $6.5m.

Summit International's legal thriller Michael Clayton took $2.2m from 663 screens in the UK and Italy, raising the total to $4.1m. The film scored a possible number one debut in Italy on $1.5m from 389.