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If Marvel Studios' Iron Man hadn't been a hit all the way back in 2008, it's hard to say if they would have been able to build the massively successful Marvel Cinematic Universe that we have today. The Jon Favreau film made $585 million worldwide during its theatrical run, which was able to propel the company past the disappointing Incredible Hulk and eventually on to The Avengers, which now stands as the third biggest box office hit of all time.
But if Iron Man had flopped the whole thing would have been over before it began. If a cool laser-shooting superhero/billionaire/playboy/philanthropist didn't catch audiences attention there's no way they would have spent hundreds of millions of dollars gambling on Thor or Captain America. So it's understandable that Warner Bros. would want to perhaps pump the brakes on the future of their partnership with DC Comics and wait to see if their next big superhero movie actually pays off.
Variety has published an article about the future of future of the studio, which just saw saw Kevin Tsujihara named CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment, and on the subject of the upcoming Justice League movie it says that the executives at WB are planning on waiting to see how well Zack Snyder's Man of Steel does at the box office before moving forward and making deals for the new superhero team-up film. As of now the studio is working with a script written by Will Beall (Gangster Squad), though the project still doesn't have a director.
So this summer you will once again have a chance to vote with your dollar: if you see Man of Steel you increase your chances of one day seeing a Justice League movie, while waiting for the Superman flick to be released on Blu-ray could kill the more ambitious project. It's all up to you!