I really like this movie, and can't for the life of me figure out why people don't. of course, I can't figure out why it wasn't a huge hit and didn't spawn 15 sequels, but it's probably not "dark and gritty" enough for today's audiences. or even audiences in 1996.
I am glad I went to see this in the theater. it's loads of fun. I've written about it a few times, and I always enjoy watching the movie. it probably wasn't nearly "realistic" enough, and the Phantom smiled a lot in the movie. can't have heroes smiling now, can we?