The estimated $54 million that Rise of the Planet of the Apes will earn by this evening obviously betters yesterday morning’s projection that Rupert Wyatt‘s film “might actually hit $50 million,” which itself was significantly higher than the $30 million projected by 20th Century Fox three or four days ago.

You might logically presume that the film enjoyed a Friday-to-Saturday uptick, and yet‘s Phil Contrino reports that Apes “did $19.7 on Friday and then went very slightly down on Saturday $19.4 on Saturday…which is pretty good nonetheless. It indicates a steady positive word-of-mouth. And it got an A-minus from CinemaScore, and that’s solid I could see this being a three-multiplier and hitting $150 million. August is always less competitive and this is going to propel right along.”

You also might presume that the CG-abundant Apes would skew towards a younger audience, but not entirely. “The weird thing that we’re finding is that 56% of the audience was 25 and up…so a nostalgia factor [among those who’d seen the 1968 original and/or the lower-budgeted sequels] kicked in.”