So why have Paramount and Abrams taken something that was really quite unique, and made it so common and mainstream?
Because not enough people were watching "Insurrection", "Voyager", "Nemesis" or "Enterprise".
Lately, James Bond and Batman have rejuvenated their respective franchises and regained respect and popularity by becoming more serious, more complex, and more adult. Star Trek has rejuvenated its franchise and regained respect and popularity by doing the exact opposite - becoming simpler and more juvenile. I wonder why that is.
Because gadget-ridden James Bond films - and particularly the garish and ludicrous "Batman and Robin" - had got loopier and loopier
, so they pulled those franchises back to serious mode to be refreshed. "Nemesis" and "Enterprise" were criticized as being too serious so they went lighter and broader when being refreshed.
We've seen it with Star Trek before. After the seriousness of Khan's wrath and the business of resurrecting Spock, ST IV embraced comedy.