It was never going to succeed at the box office over "FIRE EVERYTHING!" style frothiness as that's what audiences prefer.
You just pointed out everything that was wrong with Modern Trek
at the end. They were making TV/movies for a few die-hards instead of trying to grow the brand and keep it competitive with the changing market.
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.
When I went to see Star Trek 2009
on May 7th, 2009 at 7pm, the college age kids outnumbered us older folk 2-to-1.