This year will be a big year for both DC and Warner Brothers and Marvel Studios. “Iron Man 3” kicks off phase two for Marvel while Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” is going to kick off “Justice League of America”. But if one of these falters, which company will be in a tighter spot?

At first glance, it’d be easy to say WB. “Green Lantern” starring Ryan Reynolds stunk. Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” ended both his and Christian Bale’s involvement. If “Man of Steel” isn’t well received, the JL movie has absolutely nothing to build on. No individual films to introduce other characters. Which means if this Superman film fails, WB may just cancel its plans for a JL film.

That would be pretty bad for WB. But the situation could be far worse for Marvel.

If “Iron Man 3” isn’t as financially and/or critically well received as the other films, they could be headed down a slippery slope. They have everyone contracted for multiple movies. We already are getting “Thor: Darkworld”, “Captain America: Winter Soldier” and “The Avengers 2”. That’s a lot of expensive blockbusters that, if “Iron Man 3” stars a run of diminishing returns, means Marvel has over saturated the market and will see worse and worse performances from each film. WB might have one stinker, but can then cut its losses. Marvel is all in on this. If it starts to go badly, Marvel could be in for a long, bad run.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

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