Movie Memorabilia: Top 20 Franchises Highlights

$625,000

Most expensive item in the study: the camera used by George Lucas to film Star Wars

13

Number of items of Star Wars memorabilia sold for $100,000 or more

$437,000

Price of Aragorn's sword from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the most valuable prop listed in the study

$300,000

Price of Jennifer Lawrence's red dress from The Hunger Games, the most valuable costume listed in the study

Star Wars memorabilia is the most sought-after of any movie franchise, according to new research.


Here at JustCollecting we set out to discover which of the world's biggest movie franchises is the most popular with memorabilia collectors. We chose 20 of the most popular franchises of all time and tracked hundreds of auction sales, to find out which movies collectors are willing to spend the most money on.

Figures show that for fans, props and costumes from the Star Wars series are by far the most sought-after on the market. Thirteen individual items from the films have achieved results of $100,000+ at auction, with $769,309 spent on lightsabers alone in recent years!

Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy is ranked second in the study, followed by James Bond, the world's longest-running movie series, in third place.

The Star Trek and Terminator franchises complete the top five. Other film series ranked include Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, The Hunger Games, Back to the Future, Alien and the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).

x-wing
Miniature X-Wing from The Empire Strikes Back: sold for $225,000 in 2012 (Image: Profiles in History)
Bond Gun
Sean Connery's From Russia with Love Walther LP53: sold for $423,300 in 2010 (Image: Christie's)
Gandalf staff
Gandalf the White's wizard staff: sold for $325,000 in 2014 (Image: Profiles in History)

Quotes

"Collecting memorabilia can be a very powerful thing, and when people are emotionally invested in a movie, history shows that they'll break the bank to own a piece of it. For fans of franchises like Star Wars, James Bond or Lord of the Rings, an iconic prop can be better than a Picasso."
"Sci-Fi and fantasy films tend to produce props and costumes that are instantly recognizable. Whether it's a hover-board, a T-Rex or a T-800, we all remember them because they capture our imaginations so clearly. The fact that collectors lust after these pieces decades later is a credit to the remarkable production designers, craftsmen and costume departments that produced them."
"No other film series in history has had the same cultural impact as the original Star Wars trilogy. Not only did it help define the idea of the blockbuster 'event' movie which dominates Hollywood to this day, but for many people it defined their entire childhood."
"Now that same generation is in a position to lay out serious money on props and costumes from the films. Memorabilia from the original Star Wars trilogy has generated more six-figure results than any other film franchise. For auctioneers it equates to millions of dollars in sales, but for many collectors recapturing a piece of their youth is simply priceless."

Study highlights

  • Most expensive prop: Aragorn's sword from The Lord of the Rings ($437,000)
  • Least expensive prop: Golden snitch from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ($7,000)
  • Most valuable costume: Red dress worn by Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger games ($300,000)
  • Most valuable miniature model: TIE Fighter model from Star Wars ($350,000)
  • Most valuable monster: Original alien costume from Alien ($126,500)
  • Oldest prop: Charlton Heston's Planet of the Apes astronaut suit (1968, $40,000)
  • Most recent prop: Leather hunting jacket worn by Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013, $60,000)

About the study

The study focuses on memorabilia from movie franchises – film series which contain at least two entries. The twenty movie franchises on our list were chosen based on the frequency and value of their memorabilia appearing at auction. We examined sales at all major auction houses over the past ten years to compile the figures. Franchises are ranked based on the combined total of their five most valuable items, along with the number of lots that have sold for $100,000+. The study focuses on props, costumes and production memorabilia only, and does not include any cars or vehicles used in the films.

JustCollecting Movie Memorabilia: Top 20 Franchises Album


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