In a Reddit AMA this morning, Avatar director James Cameron expounded on the [Avatar] franchise’s timetable in regards to the screenplays, writing, “The second, third and fourth films all go into production simultaneously. They’re essentially all in preproduction now, because we are designing creatures, settings, and characters that span all three films. And we should be finished with all three scripts within the next, I would say, six weeks. There’s always pressure, whether it’s a new film or whether it’s a sequel, to entertain and amaze an audience. I’ve felt that pressure my entire career, so there’s nothing new there. The biggest pressure I feel right now is cutting out things I love to get the film down to a length that is affordable. There hasn’t been a problem finding new and wonderful things to include in the movie.” ...
Avatar is a lot like Gravity. Sure, it's got some live action in it, but mostly it's an animated feature, tricked up to look like a live-action, sci fi pic.
So. These days, James Cameron is a director of animated features as much as anything else. Which gives you an idea of how mainstream animated features have become.
Add On: "Why Saying Animation is for Kids is Bullshit."
(They're speaking -- mostly -- about traditional animation, but the rule applies to all kinds of animation ... even animation that passes for live-action but really isn't.)