BY HALLOWEEN, “The Mummy” could set the record for the world’s most expensive movie poster.
A 1932 lithographic poster promoting the Boris Karloff classic went up for online auction Thursday and, if sold, might potentially fetch more than $1 million when the gavel drops Oct. 31, says Sotheby’s New York.
The poster, advertising the influential Universal Pictures horror hit by Oscar-winning filmmaker Karl Freund, is believed to be one of only three remaining copies, according to Sotheby’s.
The “Mummy” poster, designed by Universal advertising director Karoly Grosz, set a record two decades ago, selling for $453,500, before relinquishing the record in 2014.
Last year brought the highest auction bid ever for a movie poster: $525,800 for 1931 “Dracula” art — another release from the Golden Age of Horror. (The cinematographer on that “Dracula" film, coincidentally, was Freund.)
Grosz created the brightly tinted “Mummy” artwork exclusively for theatrical advertising, so it was never sold to the public, Sotheby’s says.
The “Mummy” poster spotlights “Karloff the Uncanny” as the entombed Egyptian monster, as well as the crimson-robed Zita Johann as his love interest, and blares with the tag line: “It comes to life!” The type also trumpets Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle.
Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett, who reportedly owns another copy of the rare poster, told Rolling Stone last year: “For me, it’s the ultimate image for that movie. Karloff’s head is just iconic. It looks godlike.”