An extremely rare 1933 “King Kong” three-sheet movie poster sold for $388,375 in Heritage Auctions’ Nov. 29 Vintage Movie Poster Event. Described as “a visual triumph” by the auction house, it is one of the rarest three-sheets in movie poster collecting and is almost never offered for sale. This large scale poster, picturing the giant ape clutching Fay Wray as he dangles from the Empire State building set the house record for a price realized for a movie poster, scoring almost five time higher than estimated price of $80,000.
“It’s simply an astounding piece of art that transcends its category and subject matter, which just happens to be one of the greatest films ever made,” said Grey Smith, Director of Vintage Movie Posters at Heritage.
More outstanding results were seen by the only known 1928 Mickey Mouse poster that achieved $101,575 after an estimate of $20,000-$40,000. An insert poster from the 1942-made film classic, Casablanca, the sale coinciding with the film’s 70th anniversary, sold for $191,200, over an $18,000-$28,000 estimate. Poster from 1933’s Flying Down to Rio sold for $239,000, while classic horror movie posters also achieved whopping prices, such as 1935’s The Bride of Frankenstein and 1934’s The Black Cat achieving $334,600 each, 1931’s Dracula seeing $310,700, and 1931’s Frankenstein selling for $189,750. A sports poster dating from 1927 featuring baseball legend Babe Ruth fetched $138,000. Westerns were headlined by a poster for 1931’s Cimarron, sold for $101,575.
The recent Heritage Auctions’ Vintage Movie Poster Sale held in Dallas realized more than $2.21 million, selling 94 percent of the lots presented.