An estimated $21.9m haul for Ratatouille and a fourth consecutive weekend as the number one overseas film further validated Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International's staggered release strategy at a time when the day-and-date model is becoming increasing fashionable.

Several months after the Pixar film made its first foray into international markets it remains the only summer release that continues to gross significant amounts.

The international running total stands at $346.8m thanks to the latest haul from 4,770 active screens in 31 countries, which positions Ratatouille as the seventh biggest animated release in history, and Disney's 10th biggest worldwide release on $552m.

Returns in the UK, Italy and Germany provided the highlights of a weekend that saw Ratatouille rank number one in the UK, Italy, China, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Poland, and Switzerland.

The film climbed 31% in the UK and stayed top for the third consecutive weekend on $8.2m from 533 screens for $36.3m. It ranked number one in Italy after dropping 35% on $4.3m from 773 in Italy for $14.4m, and ranked number two in Germany in the fourth weekend after a 45% drop on $3.6m from 967 for $34.5m.

The Game Plan stayed top in Mexico for the third weekend in a row as $925,000 from 300 screens raised the tally there to $5.2m.

Mandate International's first international results for the horror film Saw IV complemented the film's number one North American debut with a solid $12.6m gross from approximately 1,600 prints in 15 territories.

Among the highlights were $5.2m from 395 screens in the UK for Lionsgate UK's biggest ever launch, $2.7m from 300 in Spain, a number one $1.8m launch in Australia for Hoyts' second biggest ever release on 238, $967,000 from 200 in Brazil, and a mighty number one $1.2m debut in Turkey on 144.

Paramount's fantasy adventure Stardust raised its tally through PPI by $11.2m from 2,860 locations in 54 territories to $60m.

The film opened in several key territories. It took $1.1m from 350 sites in France, $1m from 220 screens in Spain, and $667,000 from 253 screens in Japan. In the UK sustained word of mouth and school half-term holidays were big factors as the film scored an excellent $4.7m hold from 452 to raise the tally to $14m.

Comedy remake The Heartbreak Kid added $1.9m from 854 sites in 11 territories for $21.7m, while the true-life drama A Mighty Heart added $387,000 from 364 venues in 21 territories for $6.8m. The ghost story 1408 opened in second place in Mexico on $708,000 from 180 screens.

Sony Pictures Releasing International's (SPRI) animated title Surf's Up grossed $5m from 2,212 screens in 36 markets for $64.6m.

The film opened in second place in France on $2.9m on 627 screens, third in Brazil on $985,000 from 181, second place in Thailand on $130,000 from 33, and launched in Belgium on $160,000 from 32. It added $195,000 from 526 in the seventh weekend in Germany to rank 11th on $6.1m.

The comedy Superbad took $2.8m from 1,458 screens in 34 markets for $36m. It opened in South Africa in third place on $75,000 from 45 screens.

Superbad added $1.4m from 350 in the second weekend in Spain for $4.2m, and stands at $1.2m in Mexico after four, $5.9m in Australia after six, and $12.9m in the UK after seven.

Resident Evil: Extinction raised its tally by $3.5m from 1,186 screens in all of its 18 markets ($2m through SPRI markets) for $54.9m through all distributors and $23.3m through SPRI.

The zombie romp opened at number one in New Zealand and Portugal on $270,000 from 52 and $200,000 from 45, respectively.

It ranks seventh in the UK on $4.9m and ninth in Australia on $2.3m, both after three weekends. Mexico has generated $7.1m after six and Brazil has produced $3.4m after four.

The supernatural thriller The Orphanage (El Orfanato) stayed top in Spain through Warner Bros Spain for the third consecutive weekend as it added $4m (Eu3m) from 373 prints for $20.6m (Eu14.6m).

The Brave One took $2m from approximately 1,900 prints in 48 markets through Warner Bros Pictures International for a $27.5m cumulative total.

The Jodie Foster revenge saga opened in Japan on $777,000 (¥89m) from 299 screens nationwide to rank fifth. After five weekends it stands at $3.8m in Germany, $3.2m in Spain, and $2.3m in the UK and France.

The romance No Reservations had no launches and stands at $48.2m.

Die Hard 4.0 is living up to its name and kept alive thanks to a $2m launch in Italy on 427 screens that elevated the action thriller's overseas running total through Fox International to $240.6m.

Family adventure The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising added $2.9m from 2,000 screens for $10.8m, fired by a $481,000 Russian debut and a $206,000 launch in Singapore.

Horror title 28 Weeks Later stands at $35m and launches in the final market of Japan in January 2008.

Universal UPI's historical drama Elizabeth: The Golden Age set sail on its maiden voyage to Italy and landed in second place on $1.8m from 290 venues. The film opens around the world in the next four months, starting with the UK this week.

The terrorism action film The Kingdom took $2m from 1,300 sites in 23 territories for an early $19.2m running total. It opened in seventh place in Mexico on $170,000 from 150 and has grossed $5.5m in the UK after four weekends, $2.3m in Japan after three, and $2m in Germany after the same amount of time.

The Bourne Ultimatum added $1.7m from 1,014 venues in 37 for $185.4m. Weekend business was punctuated by an outstanding $90,000 launch in Chile in 30 sites that is expected to see the action thriller overtake the lifetime totals of the previous two episodes this week.

The film debuted in first place in Hungary on $190,000 from 27. A final gross of more than $200m looks well within the third Bourne's given that there are still three key launches to come in Italy on Nov 1, Japan on Nov 10, and China on Nov 15.

The comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry grossed $1.7m from 1,050 venues in 32 territories for $60.3m, while Universal's North American sleeper comedy hit of the summer Knocked Up added $1.5m from 1,000 sites in 30 for $63.9m.

Universal's Brazilian co-production Tropa De Elite beat Saw IV to rank number one in Brazil for the third weekend in a row as $1.1m from 250 sites raised the total there to $8m.

Universal/Working Title's family drama Atonement added $625,000 from 198 locations in six territories for an early $24.4m international running total.

The adaptation launched in Turkey in third place on $114,000 from 46 sites. The UK has amassed $22.2m (£11.1m) after eight weekends. Atonement premieres in Germany on Nov 8.

Finally, the comedy Evan Almighty has grossed $71.4m to date, while David Cronenberg's crime drama Eastern Promises has taken $3.8m from UPI's two territories of Spain and Japan.