Note: I have rewritten this question, upon realizing it was being misinterpreted. Please reread the question and provide new answers accordingly.
Star Wars. Lord of the Rings. Star Trek. These are the phenomena of stories that never die. These stories have what I'm calling (for lack of a better term) 'cult status'. By that, I mean they have more than simply a huge fan-base. They have fanatics, people who study and live the stories to the point of obsession.
Having people like this interested in your story is generally a good thing, as it means that you have a group of people sure to buy your story if you ever write another one. It's guaranteed sales. Publishing is practically a given.
Key Assumption: I believe that not every story lends itself to this 'cult status'.
As an example, you have Lord of the Rings and Pride and Prejudice. LotR has served as the inspiration for countless fantasy stories, spawned some of the greatest movies made, and has a backing of fanatical fans, who have studied its lore to the point where they know the species of every far off land and can speak Elvish flawlessly.
Pride and Prejudice also has its followers and worshipers. But you don't see people donning early 19th century costumes at 'Jane Austen fests', or quoting the dialogue to each other, or endlessly speculating on what random details of the book might mean. Maybe you do in small groups, but not in large numbers. Not like with LotR. Or Star Wars, or Star Trek, or any of the other big cult names out there.
Why is this? The two novels above are merely examples; there are other comparisons. Why is it that some popular novels/movies achieve 'cult status' while others - which are still certainly very popular - do not?
Key Theory: These observations have led me to believe that there is a common denominator with the stories that have 'cult status', and that the stories which do not have this status, also do not have that common denominator.
Am I correct? If so, what is that common denominator? What makes a story able to attain 'cult status' (I realize you must have a good story first - that is another question)? If I'm wrong, then why is it that stories which are written equally well have such different receptions (maybe not at the time of publishing, certainly, but I am speaking of the current times)?