A Taiwanese filmmaker's tribute to a celebrated French short soared easily to the top of the indie charts this weekend. Flight of the Red Balloon (IFC Films), directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien, averaged $17,450 at the two screens where it played in Manhattan, according to estimates compiled by Leonard Klady at Movie City News. Jeffrey M. Anderson wrote: "Like Hou's more recent work, Flight of the Red Balloon moves a little more toward international accessibility and away from his early, uniquely Taiwanese stories." Juliette Binoche stars as a frazzled writer and performer with a troupe of puppeteers who hires a Taiwanese film student as a nanny for her young son.

Surprisingly, My Blueberry Nights (The Weinstein Co.) finished #2 for the weekend, grossing an average of $11,380 per screen at six locations. Wong Kar Wai's first English-language film met with lukewarm reaction at Cannes last year; the director tinkered with the editing, but the end result is still not very satisfying, according to Nick Schager. He wrote that the "lovelorn dilemmas [of the female characters] ... consistently come off as precious and trifling, which is dispiriting considering that Wong and [director of photography Darius] Khondji make everything look and feel so rapturous and enticing that one wants to believe the proceedings are of consequence." Nora Jones, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman are featured.