On the other hand, it can be argued that "listening to the fans" can be another way of saying that you're doing justice to the spirit of the source material.
Except you'll never get all fans to agree on what the spirit of the source material is, or on anything else about it. That's part of the danger with trying to chase after the approval of other people -- which people do you choose? If you try to pander to everyone, to satisfy all the conflicting "notes" about what the work should be, you'll end up with something created by committee, something trying to go in several directions at once or something that's bland and homogenized to avoid offending anyone. Heck, the reason so many movies and TV shows are weak to begin with is because they have to try to please the conflicting demands of multiple studio, network, or advertising executives all at once and are often forced into incoherence as a result. Having to answer to the opinions of millions of viewers as well would just make the interference exponentially worse. Ultimately you have to base the work on your own vision, your own inspiration, your own interpretation of the meaning of the work. There's no guarantee others will respond to your vision, but at least your vision will be honest
rather than a hollow attempt at pandering, and that's the only way it has a chance of being really great.
But I've seen instances of writers/directors saying essentially that they didn't give a damn what the fans thought - and it was ultimately to the detriment of those films.
And I've seen instances of writers/directors saying that and having it be to the benefit of those works. Obviously it's impossible for every work of a given type to be equally good. It's always going to be a gamble. The key is not to cherrypick the failures -- because there are many ways to fail, often through no fault of one's own -- but to focus on the successes and examine what made them work.