Well I never like to hear it when a decent game doesn't do well. But I'm not surprised given the age of the IP, marketing, tone and setting shift.
I liked the original Max Payne a lot, it was really fresh and exciting at the time, never seen anything like it at that point. But frankly I feel that should have been the end of the series. Max's story should have naturally ended there (although it went in some weird ways) and could have very easily if Remedy had resolved some dangling plot threads in that game which they easily could have. Not everything gets better with having sequels. I would have preferred they moved onto a new IP, even if it was similar in play and theme, just to get a fresh story so it could have the same punch as the first did.
I played two, thought I had more polish with a pretty tacked on story, and I did miss ole scrunchy face Max who seemed I dunno more believable as a just a dude going through some major league crap. And that's what I liked about Max Payne was the whole story, storyboard cutscenes and Noir feel. The stuff I've seen of three I've seen zero of that, which is what made Max Payne unique in my mind. So it looks more like a more generic shooter to me.
So I gotta admit I don't have much desire to play Max Payne Three. Although some of the passionate reactions in favor of it on here got me thinking about it.