The film was shifted to an August release because 'award-caliber movies should be able to open any time of year,' says The Weinstein Co. co-chair
Credit: Ernesto Ruscio/WireImage

UPDATE: Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, says the company has shuffled release dates for The Founder and Lion to show that “award-caliber movies should be able to open any time of year and be successful.” He also hints that the Michael Keaton-starrer will find its way to the Oscars.

“We are very excited for The Founder and Lion coming out this season,” Weinstein wrote in a statement. “I am determined to show that adult fare and award-caliber movies should be able to open any time of year and be successful. Last season saw a crowded fall where some terrific films struggled to find an audience. This year I want to spread out our slate and give them the best opportunity to succeed. The Founder is brilliant and one of the most controversial films I have had the pleasure to be associated. The story of Ray Kroc should ignite adult audiences this summer and send the incredible team of John Lee Hancock and Michael Keaton back to the Dolby Theater. The touching and beautiful family story of Lion has tremendous performances by Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara and will work really well during the holiday season.”

EARLIER: The Michael Keaton-starring biopic of Ray Kroc, the salesman who turned McDonald’s into a billion-dollar empire, will be hitting theaters sooner than expected.

The Weinstein Company has announced that it will now release The Founder on Aug. 5 in wide release. Previously, it was slated for limited release on Nov. 25.

Directed by John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks) and written by Robert D. Siegel (The Wrestler), The Founder chronicles how Kroc met Mac and Dick McDonald, the owners of a Southern California burger joint in the 1950s. While the McDonald brothers actually founded the fast food chain, it was Kroc who saw the restaurant’s franchise potential and turned it into a global corporation. Nick Offerman, Linda Cardellini, Laura Dern, BJ Novak, and John Carroll Lynch round out the cast.

Weinstein’s upcoming drama Lion will instead take The Founder’s Nov. 25 release date. Adapted from Saroo Bierley’s nonfiction book A Long Way Home, the Garth Davis-directed drama follows a 5-year-old Indian boy who gets on the wrong train and ends up thousands of miles from home, where he’s adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, he finds himself wondering about his lost family, and he turns to Google Earth for help finding his way home. Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, and Nicole Kidman star.