Known and loved characters make a HUGE difference. If anyone thinks Star Trek: The Beginning
, with it's Tiberius Chase, Admiral Gardner, Penelope and Skon during the Romulan Wars would have been anywhere near as successful as Star Trek 2009, starring Kirk and Spock, you're wrong.
My thoughts exactly!! For a fan, a movie like The Beginning would be fun, but to the casual person, hardly. Trek09 was well recieved, my girlfriend was a lot more open to trying Trek after seeing that one, and is now a big DS9 fan. A movie like The Beginning would not have drawn in viewers that weren't already interested in Trek.