In the days before television and the internet, audiences would flock to the movie theatres for entertainment. And to advertise the next blockbuster hit? Movie posters. Now vintage, these highly nostalgic and beautifully artistic advertisements are among the most wanted pieces of movie memorabilia. For particularly old and rare movie posters, collectors are willing to pay the big bucks… These are the top 5 most expensive movie posters ever sold!
5. Dracula (1931) - €267,000
Who wouldn’t love this vintage poster for the classic 'Dracula' horror movie from 1931? But would you be willing to pay €267,000 for it? That is what Nicholas Cage got when he sold the Style F movie poster in 2009. Movie studios often print several versions of posters for a movie, varying in size and content making them fit for various markets. It is believed only three copies of this Style F 'Dracula' 1931 poster exist.
4. The Black Cat (1934) / The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) - € 287,605
Two posters tied for 4th place on our list! In 2007 a Style D 'The Bride of Frankenstein' movie poster from 1935 was sold for € 287,605, and in 2009 the same was paid for a Style B poster of 'The Black Cat' (1934). Both were sold in the US, both are posters for a horror movie, and both are believed to be the only copy left of that particular style. And both share this number 4 spot!
3. Metropolis (1927) - €307,000
One of the most beautifully designed posters ever: the 1927 poster for the famous, silent science-fiction movie 'Metropolis' produced by Fritz Lang. The movie has influenced many generations of sci-fi filmmakers, and the poster designed by Heinz Schulz-Neudamm left a great legacy as well. The art deco design with delicate shades and sharp lines was very controversial in a time when movie posters were generally very bold and figurative. This 'Metropolis' movie poster sold for over €300,000 in 2000. This isn't the most expensive version of this poster to have sold, however...
2. The Mummy (1932) - €370,000
Apparently horror movies have a great legacy, because like most posters in this list, the 2nd most expensive poster ever sold is again in the horror genre. It sold for €370,000 in 1997 while the production of the movie in 1932 is estimated to have cost just €168,400. The movie poster of 'The Mummy' is highly sought after, partly because of the great artwork and colouring designed by Karoly Grosz. Boris Karloff, depicted on the poster, was one of the most renowned horror movie personalities of those days.
1. Metropolis (1927, international version) - €1 Million
In 2012, collector Ralph DeLuca paid €1 million for a collection of nine rare, vintage film posters – with the international version of the 1927 'Metropolis' poster as crown jewel. Other posters in the collection were from 'King Kong', 'The Invisible Man', and the original painting of Elvis Presley used for the 'Jailhouse Rock' poster. The international version of the 'Metropolis' poster does not have credits at the bottom and is believed to be one of only four in the world. This particular copy was sold as part of a bankruptcy case.
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