In Hollywood timing is often just as important as quality in determining the sort of accolades a film will receive. Movies released in the winter or spring are often forgotten by the time Oscar season rolls around, while most Best Picture contenders often hit theaters only a few months prior, during the fall. John Lee Hancock's Michael Keaton fronted biopic The Founder seems to have recognized that rule, and recently made some changes to its release to help its chances this awards season.
A new report from Deadline indicates that the upcoming Ray Kroc biopic The Founder has taken very specific steps to ensure its status as a prime contender during this coming year's Oscar season. Although the film had originally found itself stuck with an August 5 release date The Weinstein Company opted to push the film's debut closer to Thanksgiving, and then once again delayed by another month so that early screenings will begin on December 16. Following the early release of The Founder, the film will subsequently experience its wide release on January 20.
This sort of tactic has become incredibly common for major prestige films. Most Oscar contenders typically find themselves hitting theaters in Fall, or at the very least experiencing an early release in December to qualify for Oscar consideration before going wide in January -- The Revenant served as a great example of such a phenomenon only last year.
The Founder centers upon the story of a major American icon, Ray Kroc. A shrewd businessman, Kroc gained notoriety for turning the mom and pop restaurant chain McDonald's into a major national franchise while simultaneously pushing out the chain's original owners. Think of The Founder like The Social Network except with hamburgers and french fries instead of a major social media platform.
Aside from the fact that the new release date will almost certainly bolster The Founder's chances during awards season, the delay may also help it fare better financially. Given its original August 5 release date, the upcoming Ray Kroc biopic would have had to go toe-to-toe with David Ayer's Suicide Squad -- a film widely expected to become one of the best blockbusters of the summer season. It looks like the folks at The Weinstein Company are just as shrewd as the film's principle character.
Check out a trailer for the upcoming biopic below:
For now it looks as though we're going to have to wait a little longer until we can actually catch The Founder on the silver screen. However, given what we know about the project already, it'll likely be worth the wait. The Founder will hit theaters on December 16.