The owner of Regal cinemas announced Tuesday that it had emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy after slashing billions off its debts, just as smash hits “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” give the movie theater industry a much-needed lift. UK-based Cineworld, the world’s second largest theater chain behind AMC\n \n (AMC), filed for bankruptcy protection last September after a punishing two years during the pandemic. Its cinemas had continued to operate while it restructured its finances. The group said in a statement that it had cut its debt by $4.53 billion, raised $800 million in new equity capital and secured debt financing of $1.71 billion. “Cineworld is ready and fully able to succeed in this dynamic and constantly changing movie theater industry,” chairman Eric Foss said in a statement. New CEO Eduardo Acuna, a former president of Cinepolis Americas, said Cineworld “has what it needs to reach new levels of success.” The company said it had appointed several new members to its board, including the former chair and CEO of Warner Bros., Ann Sarnoff. (Warner Bros., like CNN, is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery.) Sarnoff’s experience would “prove invaluable” in helping Cineworld develop its relationships with film studios and content suppliers, it added. Cineworld struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic, when it, along with other cinema chains, was forced to close its movie theaters worldwide. It suffered a combined loss of more than $3.3 billion over 2020 and 2021, and has so far shuttered 51 of its Regal theaters in the United States. The “Barbenheimer” bounce The industry’s fortunes have changed dramatically since then. AMC announced Sunday that between July 21 and July 27, it earned its largest admissions revenue in a single week since the company’s founding in 1920. The company attributed its success to the “Barbenheimer” opening weekend, which has fueled a pop culture craze over the past few weeks. Together, the films raked in $511 million in box office sales over their opening weekend, according to Boxoffice.com, which cited data from Warner Bros., which distributes “Barbie,” and Universal Studios, which is behind “Oppenheimer.” Combined, the movies have made more than a billion dollars globally in just 10 days. But whether the summer blockbusters will translate into a sustained revival for movie theaters remains to be seen. Big budget films like DC’s “The Flash” and Disney’s “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” have underperformed, and a strike by Hollywood actors and writers over pay and working conditions has temporarily stopped production on most films.