Low-budget comedy 'A Cool Fish' surprise winner

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Poster of "A Cool Fish" [Photo/Weibo]

"A Cool Fish," a low-budget local comedy with no A-list actors, has received the highest degree of satisfaction by Chinese moviegoers, according to a recent survey unveiled by the China Film Archive.

The survey, which covered nine movies shown in Chinese cinemas from late October to early December, designated "A Cool Fish" as the biggest surprise winner, as it garnered both critical acclaim and better-than-expected ticket sales at the box office.

The film, which tells the story of several nobodies, including a cop-turned-security guard, his sister, and two thieves, made the most of the screening period, which is usually filled with a higher proportion of art-house films, said the survey.

The survey noted it received high scores in several categories such as storyline, production, and performance.

At one time, it even overtook "Venom" and "Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald," two Hollywood blockbusters and stayed at the top of box office. Data from online ticket sales platform Maoyan.com showed that "A Cool Fish" still ranked second on Saturday's chart, following newly released "Aquaman."

The success of "A Cool Fish" also underlines the importance of the release timing in China. Some industry watchers have blamed bad timing for the flop of "Crazy Rich Asians" -- it was released almost two months after its premiere in North America.

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