Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie

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Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie
Billion Dollar Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTim Heidecker
Eric Wareheim
Produced byWill Ferrell
Adam McKay
Dave Kneebone
Tim Heidecker
Eric Wareheim
Written byTim Heidecker
Eric Wareheim
StarringTim Heidecker
Eric Wareheim
Zach Galifianakis
Will Ferrell
John C. Reilly
Narrated byMichael Gross
Music byDavin Wood
CinematographyRachel Morrison
Edited byDaniel Haworth
Doug Lussenhop
Distributed byMagnet Releasing
Release date
  • January 20, 2012 (2012-01-20) (Sundance Film Festival)
  • March 2, 2012 (2012-03-02) (United States)
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$201,436[1]

Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie is a 2012 American comedy film co-written, co-directed, and co-produced by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. The film is both Heidecker and Wareheim's feature directorial debuts.

The film stars Heidecker and Wareheim with a supporting cast which includes Zach Galifianakis, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Ray Wise, Twink Caplan, Robert Loggia, and Will Forte.[2]

After wasting their billion-dollar film budget on a short film, Heidecker and Wareheim try to pay back the money by re-opening an abandoned shopping mall.

The film was released in theaters on March 2, 2012, and was released to iTunes and on-demand January 27, 2013.[3]


Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim are two filmmakers who are given a record-setting $1 billion budget to make a movie. The funds are provided by Tommy Schlaaang and the Schlaaang Corporation. The two waste all of their money on the making of Bonjour, Diamond Jim, a three-minute film (based on a poem by "personal shopper and spiritual guru" Jim Joe Kelly [Zach Galifianakis], whom they paid $500,000 a week), plus expensive makeovers, 10-course lunches, real diamonds for Diamond Jim's suit, and a Johnny Depp impersonator. Because of this, the two leave Los Angeles in fear that they will go to prison or be hunted down by the Schlaaang Corp.

After seeing an advertisement for it in a nightclub bathroom, Tim and Eric decide to renovate the S'Wallow Valley Mall run by Damien Weebs (Will Ferrell), in the hopes that they will make back their billion-dollar debt. While trying to refurbish the mall, they must deal with vagrants such as a man-child named Taquito (John C. Reilly), bizarre stores (such as Reggie's Used Toilet Paper Discount Warehouse), and a man-eating wolf that stalks the food court.

During their time at the S'Wallow Valley Mall, Tim and Eric also face many challenges, such as an angry shop owner named Allen Bishopman (Will Forte) who "doesn't want anything to change", and the fact that Eric is in love with Katie (Twink Caplan), a woman who works at the mall (whom Eric also compulsively masturbates to.) Because of this, Tim poisons Eric and ends up making love to Katie, whilst Eric goes to the Shrim Alternative Healing Center, run by Dr. Doone Struts (Ray Wise) to seek "spiritual healing", only to be placed in a bathtub which gets filled with diarrhea by Struts' sons as part of the "spiritual healing". After the event, Eric finds Tim sleeping with Katie and subsequently fights Tim. After the fight, Eric apologizes to Tim for starting the fight and understands why Tim made love to Katie.

They are eventually discovered by the Schlaaang Corporation because of Allen. After a dramatic shootout in front of the mall, in which most of the main characters are killed, Tim and Eric manage to kill the members of the Schlaaang Corporation, and are sentenced to death for murder.

However, it is revealed that the preceding events are actually a film the two were showing to Steven Spielberg, who pronounces it the greatest movie ever made. Tim and Eric then celebrate with their Awesome Show co-stars.



Portions of the film were shot in the Coachella Valley, California, and Palm Springs at the abandoned Desert Fashion Plaza which was used for S'wallow Valley Mall.[4] Tim and Eric had originally planned to use an entire town but for budgetary reasons it was scaled back to a mall. The idea for a dying shopping center came from Monroeville Mall (of Dawn of the Dead fame) and Hunt Valley Mall in Eric's hometown of Baltimore. Like the fictional mall, Hunt Valley was in fact redeveloped from top to bottom except the interior walkways have been converted to open-air and was successful upon its "grand reopening". The same went for Desert Fashion Plaza which was in the process of being de-malled and re-imagined as a new "Main Street" at the time filming began, lending authenticity to the movie setting.[citation needed]

Before the movie's release Tim and Eric started the Billion Dollar Pledge asking fans and celebrities to support them by signing a document stating they would not illegally download the film, and also not to see its box office competition The Lorax. Stars who took part in the pledge ranged from comedians and actors Ben Stiller, Mark Proksch, Bob Odenkirk, Seth Green, Peter Serafinowicz, Todd Barry, Rashida Jones and others, to musicians Weird Al Yankovic, Maynard James Keenan, Josh Groban, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Maroon 5.[5]


The film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in January 2012. In an interview, the duo deadpanned that the film was spliced together with out-takes from the DVD release of Rango.[6]

Box office[edit]

Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie opened to 24 theaters on March 2, 2012 and grossed $87,475 in its opening weekend, ranking at #42.[7] It would go on for another 7 weeks before closing to only $201,436 in the domestic box office.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie has received mixed to negative reviews from critics on its original release. The film ranking website Rotten Tomatoes rated the film "rotten", with 38% of the 58 critics sampled giving the film positive reviews.[8] Variety gave the film a negative review, feeling that Tim and Eric "torture their purposefully inept, shortform sketch work into feature length...to diminishing returns" and that "fans of their Cartoon Network series or those simply familiar with the pair via YouTube will likely find the extended version of their pathos-and-pain-driven comedy hard to digest."[9] The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a negative review, stating "Auds attuned to Tim & Eric's weird wavelength will find plenty of guffaws in the first half, but a plot this thin can't sustain comedy based on discomfort."[10] The A.V. Club gave the film a B+ rating, opining that the film "feels genuinely dangerous and transgressive: it makes a virtue of going way too far because other comedies don't go far enough."[11] Roger Ebert gave the film 1/2 star out of 4 and said it was so bad, it wouldn't even qualify for a review in a book consisting solely of reviews of terrible movies (along the lines of his "Your Movie Sucks" editions).[12]


  1. ^ a b Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ Lussier, Germain (March 2, 2011). "'Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie' Is A Go Featuring Zach Galifianakis, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly". Slashfilm. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  3. ^ "'Tim and Eric Movie to be Released On Demand'". SocialTechPop. Archived from the original on January 15, 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  4. ^ Palm Springs Visitors Center. "Coachella Valley Feature Film Production 1920–2011". Filming in Palm Springs. Palm Springs, CA. Archived from the original on October 1, 2012. Retrieved October 1, 2012.Download[permanent dead link] (Downloadable PDF file)
  5. ^ https://www.facebook.com/zittwins
  6. ^ "'In the can, Sundance 2012". youtube.com. 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  7. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for March 2-4, 2012". Amazon.com. Box Office Mojo. 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2013-03-03.
  8. ^ "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  9. ^ Anderson, John (January 21, 2012). "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie". Variety. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
  10. ^ DeFore, John (January 21, 2012). "Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie: Sundance Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
  11. ^ Rabin, Nathan (January 27, 2012). "Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie". The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
  12. ^ "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie". Chicago Sun-Times. February 29, 2012.

External links[edit]