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It really depends. I think it's an issue with passion more so than the fans. The same guy who wrote X-Men: First Class, which was well-received, went on to write Man of Steel, which got a mixed-to-negative reception. He was not a fan of X-Men, but he's a fan of Superman. His approach to First Class was that, since he wasn't a fan and had to start from scratch, he would write it in such a way as to not lock people out. But he was a fan of Superman, and he didn't do that with Man of Steel, which caused people to feel Supes was acting out of character.
A similar fate happened to the live-action Popeye film by Robert Altman in the eary 80s. A major plot point, for instance, was that Popeye did not like eating spinach, an he had to be coerced and cornered for him to do so. This would seem weird for most people familiar with Popeye--except that the comic strips really DID begin with him refusing to eat spinach and stayed that way for years, and the mainstream is only familiar with him post-character-growth.
Watchmen is about as close as you can get to a one-to-one adaptation from a niche medium to a movie. Zack Snyder is a DC fan through and through, and you can see it in the strive for faithfulness. It managed to upset both the fans and the general viewing public because the comic books' length meant things needed to be cut out (most notably the Tales of the Black Freighter subplot), and what got cut out, because Snyder knew Watchmen a little TOO well, were things necessary to sympathize with and understand the characters. He knew all of the plot points by heart and focused on that, leaving the characters feeling like they're being dragged along for the ride. The history of superheroes prior to when Watchmen takes place, which is important to fully get the scale of the plot (and is critical to understanding characters like Nite Owl and Silk Spectre), was also condensed into a no-dialogue montage making up the opening credits.
It's usually very hard to make something that appeals to both the fans and general audiences, because for the most part, they want pretty different things. The writers know this, so you either get stuff like the above, or you get stuff like Shrek or Guardians of the Galaxy, whose strategy is to create new fans.