Metropolis Tops This List of the Most Valuable Movie Posters of All Time

AbraxasNovember 4, 2021


In-depth analysis shows the 1927 silent film Metropolis has the world’s most expensive movie poster, with several horror films taking other spots.

A list of the priciest movie posters of all time is topped by the iconic expressionist imagery from the groundbreaking and influential 1927 silent film Metropolis.

A treasure trove of information from the Top Dollar blog details each entry on the list, which date from the late 1920s to the mid-1940s. The top spot is a beautiful piece by the artist Heinz Schulz-Neudamm that drew inspiration not only from the striking film German sci-fi film itself but also the Bauhaus and Futurism movements. It’s currently valued at a whopping $690,000 and is rumored to be owned by actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Another version of the poster holds the 8th spot on the list at $357,750. It’s also designed by Schulz-Neudamm, this time specifically for the German market.


Related: Ghostbusters: Afterlife IMAX Poster Teases a Gozer-Sized Threat (Exclusive)

The extensive list is largely composed of films from the horror genre. Well-known movie monsters like 1931’s Dracula (#2 at $525,800), 1932’s The Mummy (#4 at $435,000) and 1931’s Frankenstein (#7 at $358,500) loom large with their bold, attention-grabbing imagery. These films were generally less expensive to make and had lower expectations, so artists felt freer to explore bold design choices. There are 12 entries instead of 10 because of two ties. At the 3rd spot at $478,000 are rare pieces for 1927’s London After Midnight and 1946’s Casablanca. Tied at #9 and going for $334,600 are two more horror films: 1934’s The Black Cat and the 1935 sequel to an earlier entry, The Bride of Frankenstein.

The blog also includes a handy sorting guide for less rare posters that the average fan might have in their own homes. There are drop-down menus broken down by genre, franchise and decade that have entries from such fan favorites as Star WarsMarvelLord of the Rings and Batman ranging from the 1960s all the way up to the 2010s. Prices also range widely from the 1977 poster for the first installment of the Star Wars franchise at $45,410 down to just $30 for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, released in 2020.

Related: The Batman Drops Moody Riddler, Dark Knight Posters Ahead of the Trailer’s Arrival

Some other key findings in the study found that the most expensive standalone superhero poster is 1968’s Barbarella, valued at $8,400 and that The Jungle Book poster from 1967 is the most expensive animated film poster at $3,600. The blog even delves a bit into the history of the artform, tracing it all the way back to an illustration by Marcellin Auzolle done in 1895 to promote the film L’Arroseur arrosé at the Grand Café in Paris, France.

To cap it all off, there are several infographics filled with helpful tips and tricks on how to authenticate a poster (such as avoiding fuzzy text and checking the measurements) and how to restore, frame and preserve them once you have one you want to hold onto. It’s an exhaustive study sourced from Heritage Auctions and several other movie poster-specific sources that yields a veritable chest of informational treasures for the movie poster buff.

Keep Reading: The Wheel of Time Character Posters Conceal Secret Weaves of Power

Source: Top Dollar

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