The screenwriter William Goldman once said that "nobody knows anything" in Hollywood, an observation that rings true each time a hotly anticipated movie flops at the box office. The near impossibility of predicting which films will succeed and which will not has not stopped the industry’s top executives from acting as if they know everything. For the past decade, the leading producers of comic book adaptations — Walt Disney’s Marvel Studios and Warner Brothers’ DC Entertainment — have commissioned a string of movies about superheroes. All of the stars have been male. Spider-Man, Iron Man, Superman, Batman, even Ant-Man all came to the big screen before any movie starring a female superhero. The studios apparently did not believe that audiences were interested in such films. It turns out, not surprisingly, that such an audience does exist. This weekend Warner Bros, which is owned by Time Warner, the media company in the process of being acquired by telecoms company AT&T, finally rele...

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