I find it interesting how film history kinda repeats itself.
Wrath of Khan is to The Motion Picture what Aliens is to Alien or 2010 is to 2001. Every time the sequels are faster, have more action, more... I dunno, mainstream.
I'm afraid I don't see your point. Are you just stating that the sequels are always more fast-paced OR are you saying that the sequels are always more mainstream and more popular because of that?
I don't see how 2010 could be more popular or as famous as 2001..
The sequels follow a more mainstream storytelling style. Especially when you look at 2010 compared to 2001. 2010 is a 'normal' science fiction film, 2001 is very different.
The Motion Picture is slow, cerebral, high concept, but Wrath of Khan is fast paced, more action oriented, more like the original show, etc...