Why does comparison even matter in terms of how many people saw it?
Why does your opinion of quality matter? Or mine?
Why shouldn't the opinions of millions and millions of other people matter as much or more?
The "popularity doesn't equal good" assertion generally only comes up when it's useful in ignoring the success of something one doesn't like. The idea that Trek fans in general, or the fans on this board, represent some exalted standard of taste as regards these things is arrant nonsense.
As far as I'm concerned, this movie was better than most Trek since TOS (the actual series) - and I've seen and liked most of those shows and movies.
See, what you're partly getting at is that there can be some sort of objective truth when it comes to opinions, and that's just wrong.
It doesn't matter if some idiot on this board likes/dislikes the movie or even goes against the grain. It doesn't matter if MTV shut it out or if it won any other awards. It doesn't matter how much money it made. All that will possibly do is ensure another movie by the same creative team, or make people who agree feel like their opinion is validated.
But what really matters is one's own opinion, and they shouldn't feel threatened if a majority (or selective subset perceived as a majority) disagrees with them. Brett's comment seemed to be just his own opinion despite some possibly poor wording, but countering that with a declaration that the movie made a lot of money just seems strange to me. So what if the movie made a lot of money? Is the guy with that opinion supposed to just roll over, admit some sort of defeat, and join the majority? I dunno, that just sounds weird to me.