You know what? I think it did. When you look back, the 60s batman and so on, while they were good, they were more comical and rated G. I believe Smallville was the first of many to take superheroes a little more seriously.
In part I think it did, but I also think that if Marvel didn't have such a financially successful franchise going DC probably wouldn't have stepped up their game. It's always been a competition with those two, and they saw Marvel was going hard and responded in kind
@shannonl5 that's true, the only thing DC really had for a while were the Christopher reeve superman movies and the batman franchise (Keaton to clooney) and then nothing. then the Raimi spiderman movies got the ball rolling for marvel reignited the old rivalry