... The age of commercial 3D may be upon us, but it won't be Cameron [and Avatar] that brings it to the fore. My money is on DreamWorks Animation's (DWA) Monsters vs. Aliens, which comes out in March, months before Avatar's Dec. 18 release. I've seen parts of it, and "real" 3D cartoons are where the action is gonna be ...
I've got no idea about the Jimmy Cameron part of the above. Maybe Avatar will be a smash hit (God knows, Fox was nervous about Titanic before it came out). Maybe it will be a massive dud.
But I give high odds to Monsters Vs. Aliens owning a big opening weekend. When I saw clips and the trailer for MvA, the feature's 3-D really swept me away, something that didn't happen when I saw Bolt 3-D. (I liked the feature itself, however.)
I puzzled over my reaction until a techie at a big animation house clued me in about the differences:
So far, when Disney makes a 3-D animated feature, they make it as a flat-screen feature, then also make a 3-D version. DreamWorks Animation makes their 3-D features in the stereo format first, then do a flat-screen version.
The stereo version comes first with DWA. That's why its stereo visuals hit you with bigger impact.
Assuming this information is correct (I haven't double sourced here; I'm not Woodward-Bernstein), it would explain the visceral difference I felt between the two.