An original poster for the 1931 adaptation of Dracula just sold at Heritage Auctions’ Movie Posters Auction in Dallas, Texas for $525,800, making it the new world record holder for most expensive movie poster ever sold.
Only two prints of this poster are known to exist. It’s dominated by a painting of Bela Lugosi, a Hungarian immigrant who rose to stardom in this role. His menacing face emerges from a deep blue background, looming over yellow letters spelling out the movie’s title.
“There were four different styles of posters created for the film,” said Grey Smith, director of vintage posters for Heritage Auctions, the Texas company that supervised this poster’s auction. “But this style is the one which many people recognize as outstanding.”
The auction began online and ended with live bidding last weekend in Dallas. The new owner’s identify was not revealed, although a Heritage spokesman said it was “an anonymous US bidder.”
“The Dracula poster is a rare, important poster that sparked intense bidding among some of our elite collectors,” Smith added. “Considering the sheer beauty of the poster and the timeless popularity of the film, it’s not a surprise that the demand was so high.”
Smith continued, “It is a matter of opinion, but this poster probably is the most beautiful of all of the styles, and one of only two styles that pictures Bela Lugosi in realistic terms or a faithful rendering – the other is a photographic image.”
At this year’s auction, a 1932 lobby card from Universal’s The Mummy also sold for $26,290, while a The Phantom of the Opera (1925) one sheet pulled in $95,600.