Insurrection was never going to be an easy sell to a mass audience of popcorn munchers regardless of who was captain. It's not really an action film, more of a traditional Star Trek morality play. It was never going to succeed at the box office over "FIRE EVERYTHING!" style frothiness as that's what audiences prefer. Less of that horrible thinking
involved, just lots of 'splosions. Om nom.
I think if Star Trek 2009 rebooted the TNG crew (And thank God it didn't as the idea of a shaved Chris Pine playing young "Buckle up!" Picard is giving me the horrors!) it would've done as well, if not better because young people are way more familiar with that crew. I'm the only one my age I know that has even seen TOS.
Abrams' moronic spin in interviews that Star Trek "is all about" Kirk and Spock, or "only works" with Kirk and Spock is not only ignorant but disrespectful to those that kept the franchise going for so long.