How Much Are Old Movie Posters Worth?

How Much Are Old Movie Posters Worth?

It’s a question that I have been asked a thousand times, either via email or face to face at film fairs so I have decided to write a small piece on this.

“I have a bunch of old movie posters in the attic, they must be worth thousands”

It really depends on the titles and stars of the film. Take the US one sheet film poster for The Smiling Ghost, released in 1942 and has a fun image which is currently for sale on the website, it retails at around £60-£100. Now the Smiling Ghost isn’t a popular film, in fact many of you wouldn’t have heard of it, so you see a poster which is nearly eighty years old has accumulated a retail value of £1 for every year it’s been in existence.

Smiling Ghost US film poster

Now take this movie poster for Casablanca, released in the same year. In my opinion the art work isn’t great, but it has the title Casablanca, the stars in Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman and sold recently for over £65,000.

Casablanca original movie poster

Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Let’s go to the 1950’s, a popular film released in 1958 was The Vikings starring Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis. The US one sheet film poster in my opinion is beautiful with vibrant colours. This particular example is for sale on our website at £295, a great investment.

The Vikings US Movie Poster

Another noticeable movie poster released in 1958 is the B-movie cult classic Attack of the 50ft Woman, a classic poster with artwork by Reynold Brown. This poster can sell for around £5000-£10000. Of these 1950’s posters, both are deemed popular titles, one is probably out of most people’s budgets but there are opportunities to pick up popular titles with great artwork that would satisfy the smaller of budgets.

Attack of the 50ft Woman Movie Poster

Recent titles that are high in value include the Pulp Fiction ‘lucky strikes’ poster, again a popular title. This poster was recalled due to the threat of a lawsuit by a tobacco company as the Lucky Strike cigarette packet in front of Uma Thurman was not approved by the manufacturer. These posters can sell from £1000-£3000.

The above shows how even later posters like the Pulp Fiction are more valuable than some posters that are over eighty years old. The variables are title, stars, condition, rarity(has it been recalled) artwork.


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