Paramount has said that Abrams Trek was their Hail Mary Pass. The final chance for the Star Trek franchise. It was not expected to generate any sequels.
There's no way that could possibly be true. They were trying to revitalize the franchise, to make it a big tentpole property. That's the whole reason they gave it to Abrams, Kurtzman, and Orci -- they wanted them to duplicate their success with Mission: Impossible III
, to make ST as viable an ongoing franchise as its fellow Desilu-legacy series had been.
There's also the fact that they signed all the cast to three-film contracts. And the fact that they deliberately cast young actors in the leads, just the sort of thing you do when you're trying to launch a film franchise that you hope will endure for years and years.
So yeah, it might be valid to say that if
this movie hadn't done well, they would've been unlikely to do any more, but it can't possibly be right to say that they didn't expect
it to do well enough to generate sequels. That's got to be a misinterpretation of whatever you're alluding to. The whole point was to revitalize it as a cash-cow tentpole that they could profit from on a continuing basis.