But I haven't seen any real discussion of that, rather discussion why the new Trek movies are bad, and considering that JJ's Trek movie were very successful, that discussion seems irrelevant, or at least needs to be more nuanced.
I guess it's the same problem that every series/franchise has when it's undergoing some dramatic changes. See the Stargate Universe example I made earlier. You could watch how every single episode had less viewers than the episode before. Fans were extremely disappointed because SG:U wasn't Stargate anymore, but some kind of Battlestar Galactica. That's not what you want to see when you watch Stargate. And people who didn't like Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis, never gave SG:U a chance, because they didn't like Stargate. How could they know that it wasn't Stargate anymore, when some high educated and overpaid idiots decided to call it Stargate? You don't read up on every single TV show. Especially not on franchises you don't like.
There's another good example. In Germany we have a very, VERY, VERY
famous TV series called "Tatort
", a police/crime drama (read the first paragraph to get an idea what it is). It's quite a unique series, because different TV stations have different police teams, so it's basically like... 10 (?) different series!? It exists since 1970 and there are more than 900 episodes already (one episode is ~90 minutes). People love it!
Anyway... Since there are so many different teams with basically their own series, you can't say exactly how a Tatort has to be. Some are more like a comedy show, some are more serious, some are a bit more action focussed. But most of them have one thing in common: When it comes to police work, they try to stay close to reality. Until Til Schweiger, a very popular actor got the role of a police officer in Tatort...
The first thing Til Schweiger said was that he doesn't like the opening and the theme of Tatort
. You know what? He's right! This thing looks as if it is 45 years old! Oh, wait... it is O.O People already hated him for that comment. The next thing he said was, that he wants to do action movies and not the typical Tatort. People hated him even more. They said: If you want to do action movies, don't do Tatort. Tatort isn't made for action movies.
Well... Tatort is popular and Til Schweiger is popular. So people watched his first Tatort. 12.57 milion people watched it (Germany has a population of 80 milion, so that's pretty awesome). The second Tatort with him was watched by 10.12 milion people. The third by 8.24. The fourth by 7.69. A Tatort doesn't have only 7.69 milion viewers. That's a very bad audience rate for Tatort! He lost almost 5 milion viewers in only 4 episodes. Why? Because his Tatort looked like this: pic1 pic2 pic3
Normally, Tatort looks like this: pic1 pic2 pic3
I liked Schweiger's movies. But they're not Tatort. That's why they're losing viewers with every new episode. And that's why the viewers rate dropped from a record (12.something milion was a record back then) to a "flop" (7.something is REALLY bad!). Tatort fans don't like action movies. They like stuff like you can see in the second bunch of pics. And action fans don't watch Tatort, because... Well, because Tatort is kinda boring if you're into action.
I haven't seen Beyond, but my guess is that it's less of a homage to TOS than the first two, and more a movie that tries to stand on its own, which is why it's less successful.
Do you really think that "casual viewers" (people who just want to watch a good movie in cinema) read up on the movies if they're "enough of a homage" to the old Star Trek? I guess it's more like
Dude1: "Hey dude, let's go to the cinema
Dude2: "What's coming in the cinema tonight?
Dude1: "Uhm... ... ... Star Trek
Dude2: "Nah, I don't like Star Trek. My brother watched it 20 years ago and I hated it.
They won't watch it, because Dude2 doesn't like Star Trek. He never liked it. Pair this with Star Trek fans breaking away because they don't like the new Star Trek. What do you get? Another Stargate Universe or action Tatort.
Old franchises are pretty complicated. You'll always have a huge number of people who never liked it and you'll always have to fight with fans breaking away because they don't like it anymore. And if you do something so different from the old series that you have to create an alternate timeline, you're screwed. My opinion. Sadly, people don't say why they're not watching the new movie in the cinema, so we'll never know for sure.