While global cinemas are reeling from the coronavirus and delays to "Dune” and the latest James Bond release, shares of Japan’s biggest movie company are climbing back toward a record high as the world’s third-largest movie market slowly returns to normal.

Japan has weathered the pandemic better than most Western countries, with total infections at about 1% of the number of cases in the U.S. Gradual easing of social distancing measures have helped renew the upward trajectory for Toho Co., which operates movie theaters and produces film favorites including Godzilla.

Local audiences that once flocked to the likes of "Titanic” and Arnold Schwarzenegger hits started to favor domestic productions in the 2000s as quality and budgets rose. That’s helped isolate Japan’s movie market from the 2020 blockbuster drought that forced Cineworld Group Plc to suspend operations at American and British theaters.