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When movies are released on video cassette and DVD, the movie studios issue a line of movie posters and other advertising materials that can be used by the video rental or sale outlets.

When movies were first released on video cassette, the movie studios did not issue movie materials specifically designed for the video industry. Instead, they would take the theatre movie posters and place a tag somewhere on the poster to indicate that it was for video cassette purposes. As cable TV began to compete with the video market, and as independent filmmakers (without the distribution budgets to get to theatres) found a welcome market in video stores, a deluge of movies began to hit the video stores that never made a theatre run. As the popularity of video increased, the studios began to create and issue advertising materials specifically designed for the video market. More and more video posters carry entirely different artwork than theatre posters.

Video direct movies that bypass the theatres are gaining in popularity, particularty in the areas of science fiction and action. Studios like Full Moon and Vidmark release posters with great artwork to coincide with the release of their movies directly to video cassettes.


In some cases, a movie studio will issue video posters that have the same artwork as that of the theatre one sheet. There are several ways to distinguish a video poster from a theatre poster. Here are a few:

The video poster will have a tag along the bottom or in the middle (sometimes within the credit information) which says something like "Available on Video Cassette).

Most studio produced video posters will have a notation of "Home Video" on their logo.

Video posters are never printed in reverse double-sided printing. They do release doubled-sided video posters; however, each side will portray a different movie.

Many video posters will contain a price sticker or an indication of another movie available for sale.

Video posters come in a greater variety of sizes, including as small as 25" x 38" and up.


Video posters, by their definition, are not "legitimate theatre art" as they were not intended for or sent directly to theatres or film exchanges. In the beginning, movie studios merely plastered a video sticker across a theatre sheet and called it a video poster. Movie art collectors thumbed their nose at this "trash" paper. However, when the number of direct-to-video movies increased, some movie art collectors experienced a change in point of view.

Many collectors base their collections on a particular star. If that star happens to be in a movie that is released directly to video (bypassing the theatre), there will be no "legitimate theatre" counterpart. In order to maintain a collection, many collectors find themselves buying video posters.

In some instances, movie studios will issue a video poster with totally different (sometimes more attractive) artwork than their theatre counterparts. Certain collectors like to obtain all versions of the paper for their individual collections.

For hard line movie art collectors, video posters do not meet the strict criteria of "theatre art" and are still not acceptable as movie art. But for the more lenient or specialized collectors, video posters are being viewed in a more positive light.





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