Iconic movie posters are recognised as an art form in their own right and we all have our own favourites.
The images stay with us, sometimes for decades, and long after a film has lost attraction.
In the age of Netflix and online movie streaming some say the creative art of the poster is fading rapidly. But this means that original posters are inflating significantly in terms of market value.
The million-pound movie flier
Here’s a nice pub quiz question. Which film poster sold for a million pounds? The honour goes to a poster for the movie Metropolis, the first full length science fiction flick, made in 1927 and directed by Fritz Lang.
The poster is regarded as a work of genius created by graphic designer Heinz Schulz-Neudamm. Only four originals from 1927 are known to exist though thousands of copies have since been produced.
One copy of the Metropolis poster became famous in 2005 in London when it set the benchmark, selling for £390,000.
Then it achieved greater glory when in 2012, it formed part of a collection of nine rare posters which sold together in the US for more than a £1million.
The US buyer was ecstatic. He explained that to him that Metropolis poster alone was worth more than the other eight put together.
Maybe so, but today a repro version on e-Bay goes for under a tenner.
UK film buff amassed collection worth estimated £100,000
In August (2019) a unique collection of 2,000 movie posters hit the auction rooms of Ewbanks, Surrey. Among them were 250 really rare specimens which had belonged to Londoner, Andrew Duggan.
Andrew was a well-known film buff. His family claimed he went to the cinema on average 200 times a year. From the age of 16 he collected a massive range of film memorabilia. He died in 2017 and his collection aroused much excitement when it came up for sale.
It was a unique opportunity to gauge the market value of some of the rarest specimens. Experts valued many of the poster collection in excess of £1,500.
The Force was with Star Wars poster
The Duggan posters consistently beat the estimated value. The outstanding example was a rare Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back (1980 vintage) valued at £400. It sold for £3,000.
The sale proved that while original posters values will never scale the heights of a Botticelli or a Rembrandt, collectors are willing to pay serious cash, when they come up for sale.
The Duggan poster sale was an great success with James Bond “double bill” posters fetching more than £500. A Planet of the Apes poster netted £700. An original Carry of Screaming poster also raised £700. There were dozens more and anyone can view the results at the Ewbanks website.
As a result of market demand, some of the more popular older film posters have been reproduced either under license or illegally. The internet is peppered with posters for sale because they make great wall art.
Although the visual artwork of reproductions matches the originals, reproductions can often be distinguished by size, print quality and paper type. There are several useful websites on the Internet offer “authentication” tests to distinguish originals from reproductions.
What are the top movie posters selling today?
Here’s looking at you – £3,000 for a Casablanca
An original The Godfather poster will set you back at least £460.
Casablanca originals are valued on-line at £3,000.
Personally, I thought that a Deliverance poster, which claims to have the autograph of one of its main stars, Burt Reynolds, was a steal at £99.
Are you a keen film collector? Make sure you check out our range of film collectables from James Bond to Star Wars. Click here to view our range>>