if something is "collectable" or not is very subjective.
Anything can become a "collectable" if there is a demand
for it. Usually, within a particular collector’s market, there are
certain factors that determine authenticity, value and collectibility
based on supply and demand. The same is true in the world of "movie
poster collectors have been around a very long time although no one
knows exactly who started it or when it began. For decades, this elite
group of collectors set the standards for what has become today’s
collectable market. Many changes have come about in the last 20 years
which have created a "cloud of confusion" over WHAT IS
and WHAT ISN’T considered "collectable movie art."
While many newer collectors differ over this fact, most true movie
art collectors use specific criteria to determine if a poster is "legitimate
movie art" and is therefore worthy of collecting. A movie poster
is considered collectable if it meets both of the following criteria:
IS IT PRODUCED BY A MOVIE STUDIO AND DISTRIBUTED TO THEATRES AS ADVERTISING
movie art" materials are produced by movie studios for distribution
directly to theatres and/or movie distribution centers. They are printed
by a select group of lithographers.
These materials are designed, produced and distributed solely as advertising
materials. They are to be used for that purpose only and then either
returned or destroyed after their use.
IS IT NOT MEANT TO BE DISTRIBUTED AND/OR SOLD TO THE PUBLIC
advertising materials are never intended to be given, distributed
or sold to the public under any circumstances. They are printed in
limited numbers, only what is needed for the theatres and/or movie
distribution centers. They are to be returned for credit and/or destroyed
after their use. This makes them harder to get, thus creating the
OF THESE CRITERIA MUST BE MET IN ORDER FOR A POSTER TO BE CONSIDERED
COLLECTIBLE MOVIE ART!
WHAT IS NOT CONSIDERED
"COLLECTIBLE MOVIE ART"
lets look at posters in other categories that are not considered
"collectable movie art" and why. That is not to say that
posters in these categories will not be considered collectable in
their own right; however, they do not meet all of the criteria for
what is considered "legitimate collectable movie art."
Commercial posters are those that are commercially produced in large
quantities for direct sale to the public. They are not intended and
are not distributed to or used by theatres as advertising materials.
These posters may look identical to the ones used in theatres but
they are SMALLER. Their sizes will most likely be 23"x 35"
or 24"x 36". Either of these sizes is a flag that this is
in all likelihood a commercially produced poster.
These posters have caused a great deal of confusion in the collector’s
market. These reprints measure 27"x40" (the size currently
used by theatres for display), but they are commercially produced
reproductions of legitimate movie posters. They are either
licensed and/or unlicensed copies that are produced in large volumes
for direct sale to the public. They are not intended for and are
not distributed to or used by theatres as advertising materials.
OR NOT? – THAT IS THE QUESTION
in life, not everything in the world of movie art collecting is as
simple as "black or white." The following posters are 'quasi' collectable, depending on how they
are distributed. They are not considered original movie art
posters are released either by the movie studios or licensed printers
to commemorate the anniversary of the release date of a particular
movie. If they are issued in conjunction with the release of a movie
at the theatres (such as in the case of the 50th anniversary
release of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), the posters
were issued directly to theatres and were not intended for sale or
distribution to the public.
However, there are instances where a third party will get the rights
to issue a special anniversary poster not in conjunction with the
release of the film to theatres. These are normally produced in limited
numbers for sale to the public and thus are considered
These posters are released either by the movie studios or licensed
printers (such as Kilian Enterprises, Film
Prints, and Suncoast Movie Company)
in a special limited edition for direct sale to the public or to fan
clubs. They are not intended and are not distributed to or used by
theatres as advertising materials. This doesn't mean that this category
doesn't increase in value. It just means that it's a different category
than legitimate movie art.
Although video release posters are distributed by movie studios as
advertising materials, they are used in conjunction with advertising
video cassette releases only. They are not intended for and are not
distributed to or used by theatres as advertising materials. They
are not, however, intended for sale or distribution to the public.
These posters are released by TV and/or cable networks to advertise
TV programming. They are not intended for and are not distributed
to or used by theatres as advertising materials. They are not intended
for sale or distribution to the public.
Promotion Posters –
These posters are released by companies not associated directly with
the motion picture industry, but in conjunction with a product tie-in
to a particular film (such as Burger King, Coca Cola, etc). They are
not intended for and are not distributed to or used by theatres as
advertising materials. They are not intended for sale or distribution
to the public.