Movie Posters: Factors That Determine Valueadmin
The value of a movie poster depends on 6 primary factors; its originality, its rarity, demand, its overall condition, the movie or stars popularity, and its beauty.
Buying movie posters can be a wonderful experience, or it can be a horrific nightmare. There are so many fake and/or reprint posters that appear to be original that sometimes even poster dealers have a hard time determining what is authentic. Yes, there are “fake” posters floating around out there (read more about this below). Most people don’t even know they have a fake. Many do know and try to pawn them off to unsuspecting buyers on eBay! Fakes are virtually worthless.
Prior to the 1990’s, original movie posters were printed in limited quantities. They were supposed to be returned to the studio or destroyed after use. Usually, the older the poster, the rarer it is. Some sizes of posters are much rarer and thus more valuable than others. In the U.S. for example, very few 3 sheets and 6 sheets were printed thus they are extremely hard to come by compared to the standard issue one sheet for the same title. Reprints and fakes are printed in unlimited quantities, therefore they are not rare.
A poster may be incredibly rare, but that alone does not make it valuable. There has to be demand for it. For example, there are many obscure films from the 1920’s and 1930’s where almost no material exists. This does not mean that collectors want posters from them or will pay a premium for them. On the other hand, there are some posters that are in abundant supply yet they always sell at a premium because demand for them is high (e.g. Star Wars style A one sheet).
The condition of a poster greatly affects its value. Since many people inaccurately describe and grade their posters it is very easy to get “taken” without actually seeing the poster in person. Any restoration done will also affect value. We accurately describe all our posters and use the grading scale for movie posters developed by Jon Warren.
MOVIE OR STARS POPULARITY
People collect and display things they love. Everyone has their favorite movie and favorite movie stars. A movie or movie stars popularity is one of the determining factors of how collectible and valuable a poster is. Marilyn Monroe and Elvis posters for example usually demand a premium, even for lesser known movies they were in.
If a movie poster has a great design or beautiful artwork it can significantly increase it’s value. One of the best examples of this is the U.S. poster for the Noir film Chinatown.
Several foreign issues have very colorful and incredible artwork, many times surpassing the U.S. version in design quality. For example, the Italian and British version of The Godfather features a profile of Marlon Brando unlike the U.S. version making it highly sought after. The Australian posters for Halloween are the only posters from the first Halloween movie to actually feature Michael Myers making them extremely collectible and hard to obtain. The From Russia With Love poster from the U.S. can not even compare to the beautiful stone litho French version.