In general, TNG movies were severely hurt by Paramount's complete lack of faith in TNG being a successful movie franchise, and therefore only providing shoestring budgets for the TNG films. (Fuck you Paramount!
) But they did have faith in the JJ reboot and forked over the cash for that one, and look how it turned out (singlehandedly resurrecting the Star Trek name, albeit as a different being to the original).
To be completely fair, they didn't spend any less on TNG than they did on TOS did they? All the Trek movies between 1982 and 2002 were done on a (relative) shoestring. Paramount always seemed to see Trek as an easy sell. Spend less $$$, make more $$$. Abrams Trek was arguably the first movie that was truly given the budget that the franchise deserved all along.
How the movie's reputation managed to go from that to being "one of the worst movies in the entire franchise" is something of a mystery.
It wasn't 'epic', therefore it ends up on the crap list. Just 'good' is good enough no more it seems.
That being said, the irony is that Insurrection is
epic on the surface. It's got the most location shooting of any Trek movie save the 1986 set Trek IV, with masses of extras on site, etc. But despite the evident expense of all those big scale lake shots etc (can't have been cheap!), the final movie still ends up looking like the purse strings have been sewn shut compared to the mostly studio-bound First Contact. That's even more baffling.
It appears to have been a more expensive movie, but it just feels
cheaper. I blame that on the script. Insurrection just hasn't got the ambition
of First Contact, and no amount of money being thrown at the production could change that.