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Vintage movie posters are very different from what we see today when we see a contemporary poster for a film. In the days before there were endless sources of entertainment, movies were king and movie posters were used to advertise upcoming films. Vintage movie posters are not only nostalgic, but are highly artistic works of art. Generally speaking, antique and vintage movie posters for “classic” films fetch the highest prices. In fact, the top five most expensive movie posters are all advertising films made between 1927 and 1935. These posters are usually elaborately illustrated and brightly colored “teaser posters,” also referred to as “advance posters.” A teaser poster contains basic images or a design (sometimes also a tagline) that generates interest in the film without revealing too much information, such as the plot, theme and characters. The purpose of the teaser poster is to foster awareness and generate hype and interest for the film. There are some instances when teaser posters are issued long before the film goes into production (teasers for cancelled projects are historically informative), although they are issued during the film development
It is quite interesting to note that the top six most expensive movie posters come from the horror or science fiction genres and at least 3 of the 6, Dracula (1931), The Mummy (1932), Bride of Frankenstein (1935) are by the same artist, Karoly Grosz.
6. Dracula (1931) - $315,552.61362826.42
5. The Black Cat (1934)- $339,904.53
4. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)- $33,9904.53
3. Metropolis (1927)- $362,826.42
2. The Mummy (1932) - $437,282.65
1. Metropolis (1927, international version)- $1,181,845.00
If you are considering collecting movie posters as an investment, it is important to purchase posters that are directly connected to the films they advertise and are authorized and printed by the same studios promoting the films in question. Collectors usually avoid reprints or duplications, as this can depreciate the value. However, some movie posters are so rare (there is only one original version of The Bride of Frankenstein) that purchasing reprints or copies is sometimes unavoidable. Some factors that contribute to the value are the condition of the poster, the rarity and the popularity of the film.
Lindsey Bourret is the Managing Director at Mearto. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of the business, she also enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge of the fine art and antiques market with our customers through our website, blog, e-newsletter and social media accounts.