Gauging the success of a film is difficult when the reaction between the critics and the die-hard fans is so vastly different. There is always a hush of expectation when the announcement is made that a favorite television show from the past or present might eventually step from its simpler beginnings to the fabled big screen, where its status and prestige could possibly become even greater. Unfortunately for some programs, the silver stage becomes a trap door leading to a pit from which they can never fully recover. There have been a number of films made from television shows that have won over critics and fans alike, but they are the exception to the rule, not the norm.
Television shows that enjoy a wide and extremely loyal fan base tend to fare much better during the transition, as they can often attract new fans no matter how much the rating system favors or disparages them. Those shows to which only a certain core group of fans are loyal, however, have a much steeper climb to making it big on the silver screen. If such films flop, they also have a much harder time attaining the top spot in their time slot from that point on. Films such as "Charlie's Angels," "Miami Vice" and "Sex in the City" are good examples of how a movie can either be considered great because of its fan base, or be rendered into obscurity because it could not live up to its former glory.
Much of what goes into a film when it transitions from television is highly subject to the already known and expected aspects of the show from which it is being developed. Loyal and die-hard fans may very well accept any and all changes, but will not uniformly accept the difference in vision that directors often bring to their creations.
An example of this is the "Transformers" franchise. While many of those raised in the 1980s were more than a little excited to see their favorite robots in disguise making the leap to the big screen after so long, there were a great many intricacies and changes that hardcore fans noted right away. Although the first film went on to be a hit, the second and third stumbled slightly as viewers found that, for all the material left to the director, they were being given a very small portion of what they could recall as children.
This is the curse of moving a well-known television show to the big screen, that it will not live up to the expectations of those who have grown with and learned every nuance of the established franchise. While it is impossible to include a glimpse of every single aspect of a series in one single film, fans have taken issue with the fact that not even in trilogies and series have movies been able to do true justice to their favorite television shows. To make the transition work, the fans must at least be acknowledged.