A movie poster is a poster used to advertise a film. Studios often print several posters that vary in size and content for various domestic and international markets. They normally contain an image with text. Today’s posters often feature photographs of the main actors. Prior to the 1990s, illustrations instead of photos were far more common. The text on movie posters usually contains the film title in large lettering and often the names of the main actors. It may also include a tag line, the name of the director, names of characters, the release date, etc.
Movie posters have been used since the earliest public exhibitions of film. They began as outside placards listing the programme of (short) films to be shown inside the hall or movie theater. By the early 1900s, they began to feature illustrations of a scene from each individual film or an array of overlaid images from several scenes. Other movie posters have used artistic interpretations of a scene or even the theme of the film, represented in a wide variety of artistic styles.
The film industry quickly discovered that vibrantly coloured posters were an easy way to sell their pictures. Today, posters are produced for most major films, and the collecting of movie posters has become a major hobby. The record price for a poster was set on November 15, 2005 when US$690,000 was paid for a poster of Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis from the Reel Poster Gallery in London.Other early horror and science fiction posters are known to bring tremendous prices as well, with an example from The Mummy realizing $452,000 in a 1997 Sotheby’s auction,and posters from both The Black Cat and Bride of Frankenstein selling for $334,600 in various Heritage Auctions.The 1931 Frankenstein 6-sheet poster, of which only 1 copy is known to exist, is considered to be the most valuable film poster in the world.