Cinema box office in Australia rebounded by 50% in 2021, compared with 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the theatrical business was still less than half the level of 2019.

Gross boss office was A$605 million ($432 million) according to data from the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia and tracking service Numero. That compared with A$401 million ($286 million) in 2020 and A$1.23 billion ($878 million) in 2019.

Despite the country’s slow and spotty reopening – Melbourne endured one of the world’s longest lockdowns – Australian films enjoyed a year that was stronger that in many pre-pandemic periods. Their combined gross was A$71.5 million ($51.0 million), or 12% of the national total, compared with A$22.7 million, or a 6% market share in 2020, and A$40 million or 3.5% in 2019.

The local charge was led by “Peter Rabbit 2” with A$22.0 million ($15.7 million) and “The Dry” with A$20.1 million ($14.3 million). Rounding out Australia’s top five titles were: “Mortal Kombat,” “Penguin Bloom” and “High Ground.”

The overall chart was headed by “Spider-Man: No Way Home” with A$55.3 million ($39.5 million), “No Time to Die” with A$33.4 million and “Godzilla vs Kong” with $27.9 million.

Both “Godzilla vs Kong” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” (which enjoyed a haul of A$17.2 million) were filmed largely in Australia, but are not considered as Australian national productions.

The MPDAA/Numero data shows the number of releases making a recovery. Some 1,874 films hit Australian screens, of which 513 were new releases. In 2020 there were 1,503 films released, of which 401 were new titles. New films of Australian nationality amounted to 52 in 2021.

The data shows some 443 cinema locations in operation at the end of 2021, with a combined 2,232 screens. Average ticket prices rose from A$14.23 in 2020 to A$15.24 ($10.88) in 2021.