The Simpsons Movie hit the jackpot at the weekend with a resounding $96m estimated overseas launch that vapourised fears about the long-running television series lacking the stamina or charisma for the big screen.

Fox International's achievement was made all the more remarkable by the fact that, while the film opened day-and-date with the $71.9m North American debut, the initial wave of releases only broke into 71 of 94 scheduled markets and eight of the top 15 territories.

Homer and friends ran riot in Latin America and smashed industry opening weekend records in four territories. Argentina produced $2.3m from 170 screens, Chile $1.35m from 80, Colombia $1.4m from 130, and Uruguay $110,000 from 17.

The result in Argentina was 18% better than the opening of Pirates Of The Caribbean 3. Paul Hanneman, Tomas Jegeus and their team at Fox International must be rubbing their hands in anticipation of next weekend's Mexican release.

Beside the above four territories, The Simpsons Movie re-wrote the record book for an animated debut in Finland, and set new Fox International marks in Bolivia, Puerto Rico - where it opened on $1.4m from 71 screens - and Venezuela.

Elsewhere the film opened top in the UK on the same weekend as PPI opened Transformers, taking $27.8m (£13.7m) from 500 screens in the third biggest animated weekend launch behind Shrek 2 and Shrek The Third, and Fox's second biggest launch behind Star Wars: Episode 3 - Revenge Of The Sith.

Germany produced $14.2m from 912 for the third biggest animated launch behind Ice Age 2 and Finding Nemo, while Spain generated $9.7m from 675 for the second biggest animated launch behind Shrek 2 and Fox's second behind Episode 3.

The Simpsons Movie took $10.7m from 443 in Australia in what may be confirmed this week as the biggest animated launch ever.

It grossed $9.3m from 716 in France, which was approximately 136% as much as the opening weekend of Transformers, $1.6m from 136 in Belgium for the second biggest animated opening behind Shrek The Third, and $1.7m from 120 in Sweden in the third biggest animated launch behind Finding Nemo and The Lion King, and Fox's second biggest launch behind Episode 3.

The film opens in Russia, South Korea, Holland, Taiwan and Brazil in August, Italy in September, and Japan in March 2008.

Die Hard 4.0 continues apace and raised its cumulative tally by $8.5m from 4,000 screens in 51 markets to $175m. The film has a good chance of overtaking the $261.2m final tally of Die Hard 3 with openings still to come from Brazil and Argentina next weekend, Australia in August, Spain in September, and Italy in October.

Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer added $950,000 from 27 markets and has reached $110m with six out of the top 15 markets still to come. France, Belgium, South Korea and Spain all open on Aug 8, while Sweden opens in Aug 17 and Japan follows in September.

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix crossed $450m in its third weekend following a $50m haul and seven million admissions from more than 12,000 prints in 59 territories.

The film added $5.7m for $76.4m in the UK, $5m for $45.7m in Germany, $4.5m for $37.7m in France, $7m for $32.7m in Japan, $2.2m for $25.4m in Australia, $1.6m for $22m in Mexico, $1.4m for an excellent $21.9m in Italy, $1.2m for $21.1m in South Korea, $2.5m for $12.4m in Russia, $1.5m for $14.8m in Brazil, and $1.25m for $19.8m in Spain.

Ocean's Thirteen added $1.7m for $159.3m and is running approximately 19% behind the final tallies of the first two instalments. Territory highlights include the UK on $26m, Germany on $16.2m, France on $12.8m, Italy on $7.6m, Mexico on $5.4m. The film opens in Japan on Aug 10.

DreamWorks/Paramount's Transformers raised its international running total by $42m from 5,362 sites in 48 territories to $246.5m. The action blockbuster opened in second place in the UK on $16.6m from 459 sites, which was 6% ahead of War Of The Worlds and 198% better than Mission: Impossible 3 excluding previews.

Transformers grossed $6.3m from 675 screens in France, opened top in Hong Kong on $1.7m from 70 sites in a new record for director Michael Bay, and opened in Belgium on $1.3m from 95 screens for another Bay record.

In holdovers Mexico dropped 46% on $3m for $11.8m, and South Korea added $1.6m for a superb $48m running total.

Shrek The Third is bearing down on $400m after it added $6.2m from 4,196 sites in 54 territories for $397.5m. The biggest weekend result came from the UK, where the film fell 58% on $1.4m from 448 sites for $72.2m.

Universal/UPI's comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry opened in Greece, the Netherlands and Taiwan and took $1m from 107 venues.

It ranked top in Greece on $195,000 from 32 sites, opened in the Netherlands on $600,000 from 57 for a new record for an Adam Sandler film, and opened in Taiwan on $195,000 from 18. The comedy will roll out over the next two months, with launches in Australia on Aug 16, France on Aug 29, the UK on Sept 21, and Germany on Sept 27.

Knocked Up added $3.1m from 535 sites in four territories for an early $13m tally. Russia opened on $1.9m from 246 sites, while Singapore generated $100,000 from 20 sites.

The film held well in the second weekend in New Zealand on $210,000 from 47 sites for $610,000 and should pass the $613,000 final total of The 40 Year Old Virgin by Monday. It ranks third in Australia, where $900,000 from 222 in the fourth weekend raised the total to $10.4m.

Evan Almighty added $1.2m from 300 in 10 for $6m. It opened in South Korea on $916,000 in 185 sites and has 47 more territories to open including the UK next weekend, Germany on Aug 9, and Australia on Sept 20.

Hot Fuzz grossed an estimated $330,000 from 220 venues in 10 territories for $55m and opens next in Italy on Aug 24. Mr Bean's Holiday has amassed $186m and opens in its final territory of South Korea on Aug 16.

The newly renamed Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International (WDSMPI) reported that Ratatouille added $10m from 2,560 screens in 18 territories for an early $52m running total.

Opening in four territories, Pixar's latest offering ranked second in Japan on $4.2m from 500 screens, first in South Korea on $2m from 250, first in the Philippines on $580,000 from 60, and first in Thailand on $425,000 from 30. South Korea and the Philippines produced Pixar's second biggest launches behind Finding Nemo.

Ratatouille held well in its fourth weekend in Latin America. It fell 23% in Mexico on $1m from 600 sites for $14m, slipped 10% in Brazil on $670,000 from 200 screens for $6.7m, and slipped 5% in Argentina on $425,000 from 100 screens for $3.2m. The film ranked third in all three markets.

Next weekend's launches are in France, Spain, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Benelux. The film opens in the UK and German-speaking Europe in October.

Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End consolidated its position as the fourth biggest overseas release and added $2m for $644.5m. The question now is whether Pirates has enough momentum remaining to oust Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone from its third place berth on $651m.

Sony Pictures Releasing International did not report this weekend.