The Chronicles of Ridiculous 98105-20060625-0959-6007
With regards to the Matrix and Pitch Black, I'm not necessarily surprised that everyone you knew couldn't wait for it to come out. But that's your sample population. Taking into account every group, and summing them into one standard global population, then I think what I said before still applies... The Matrix, and Pitch Black (more so Pitch Black), weren't as anticipated or expected. At the very least, not compared to their successors.
First of all, they were the first. Second, they set the stage for the successors. People wanted to see Chronicles because they saw Pitch Black. So you take the fan base and then add in new people who just simply say, "OOhhh, that looks coooooool." Same with Matrix.
Of course, the relationship can go in reverse. Working at Hollywood video, I was bombarded, and unfortunately still am, with the question, "Ooooh, do you have Pitch Black on DVD."
Fuckers. It's the same thing everytime. That or, "Shrek" or "Matrix Reloaded".
And of course, sequel's tending to suck goes back to my original hypothesis of Star Wars Hype. You hype up a movie, and it has no choice but to suck. I'm concerned the same will hold true for Spider-Man 2. On the other hand, when a movie is in that position, then it only comes out good if it truly was a good movie, so it's forced to stand on it's own merits and not just clever advertising. So who knows, that could be a good thing.
As for the French Revolution... I remember hearing that the King and Queen were hated. That was the one sparked off by hunger and famine, right? Isn't that were the Queen said, "Let them eat cake?"
Again, I'm not claiming to know that, but I swear that's what I remember.