The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide has paved the way for books focused on other areas of collecting. Designated as “how to” books, the Overstreet Guide to Collecting line has studied a wide range of topics from comic book art to video games. The Overstreet Guide to Collecting Movie Posters explored the vast world of poster collecting, which paid special attention to Universal monster movies.
Universal Studios has produced some of the greatest and most iconic monster movies of all time. Beginning in the 1920s, “Universal Monsters” became a household name distinguishing the series of horror, suspense, and science fiction films produced through 1960.
These films, led by Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolf Man, the Invisible Man, and plenty more were some of the studio’s greatest early successes. Tod Browning’s version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula wasn’t the first adaptation for the king of vampires, but it is the archetypal version. He utilized the best parts of Stoker’s book, which itself used bits of historical folklore and legends, and the Broadway production, adapted from the novel by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston, to tell the story. Browning then cast Bela Lugosi, the original Broadway stage actor to play the count, as the mysterious vampire onscreen. Since its theatrical release in 1931, Dracula has been the benchmark by which all Dracula movies are measured.
The posters created to promote the movie capitalized on Lugosi’s abilities to terrorize, hypnotize, and intimidate viewers. Their gorgeous artwork coupled with limited availability and the movie’s significance in horror have made Dracula movie posters some of the most valuable in the hobby.
The Dracula style A one-sheet shows a large image of Dracula’s head with an expression of predatory rage. In 2017 this poster sold for $825,800 at Heritage Auctions.
The style F one-sheet design presents a larger than life picture of Dracula, cape flowing, eyes bulging as he gets ready to pounce on the cowering figure of Renfield. It sells for $75,000-310,700, depending on the condition.
Outside of the standard one-sheet size, title cards average $65,725, lobby cards go for up to $45,000, and the insert can reach $33,000.
The movie was rereleased multiple times over the years, which was accompanied by new artwork. The 1938 rerelease one-sheet averages $20,000-33,400, the 1947 rerelease three-sheet can reach $71,700, ’47 one-sheet reaches $26,000, and 1960s rerelease one-sheet is in the more affordable range of $450-1,600.
To read more about the Universal monster movie posters, order a copy of The Overstreet Guide to Collecting Movie Posters at gemstonepub.com.