Had you been at the East End One Cinema in Melbourne Australia back on the 12th of April 1979 for the Premier of Mad Max you would of had walked passed this light purple Mad Max poster warning you that ...When The Gangs Take Over The Highway....Remember Mad Mel He`s On Your Side! Starring "WHO" Directed buy "WHO" no one gave a shit it was all about the cars and bikes seen in the TV trailers such was the impact of this $350,000 Aussie Flick it went on to Gross $150,000,000 Worldwide. Today that very same purple poster if still in MINT condition can fetch a few thousand dollars!, Aussie Cinema Historians agree that a print run over 300 sheets would have been excessive for a low budget 70's OZploitation Flick.
The Jewel in the crown The Orange sheet
Unlike the faded look of both the purple and blue versions the orange lithograph printing process hit the mark, a rich Australian like dust storm shade of orange giving the second printing a realistic look!, today only a few dozen examples survive with only a hand full of those in C9 or better investment condition, now with Mad Max 4 Fury Road deep into production with a estimated $150,000,000 spend combined with 2 more completed scripts waiting in the wings its any ones guess to the projected future values of these posters.
The Confusing Blue Sheets
With M.A.P.S litho Printing Services long gone it takes some guessing and fact finding to try to work out how many were printed, but what we do know is, the 2nd printing Orange Sheets were used to mop up the remaining cinemas and drive inns and given several months had passed since the release date ,the only destination left was some drive inns keen to milk the remaining few bob from the die hard petrol heads and maybe a few small theaters trying to do the same, anyway blue sheets are rare and a print run over say 150 seems remote.
Blue Re Release Sheets
Over 2 years had passed since the Premier of Mad Max and post production for Mad Max 2 was then near completion so again a call to the printers,
" G'day Mate... blow the dust off your premium gloss paper and start printing", and print they did, more re release sheets were printed. Then the combined 79 matte sheets, primarily for ‘Double Billing’ with Mad Max 2 were printed but as it turned out, only drive in theatres double billed Mad Max with Max Max 2.
In the early eighties mainstream Australian cinema franchises were becoming keen to offer movie goer’s more daily movie sessions in effect bringing cinema double billing to a quick and sad end, as a result many blue Mad Max re release sheets and day bills remained unused!
I personally recall visiting Roadshow reel exchange centres in capital cities months after the premier of Mad Max 2 nicely asking if I could be given a Mad Max poster or two, finally ending up with a dozen or 2 folded one sheets. Sadly when I took ownership of the black Interceptor car that was used in the Mad Max movies the car was displayed at fairs and I glued many posters to billboards even used 1 as a table cloth!! Only 2 remain today and to think that today mint folded re release sheets have sold for $500 plus I guess taking ownership of the car just got to me and the posters became expendable.
Printers details found on ALL first release sheets
The appealing thing...
...is the fact that a contemporary movie poster was printed on flat (matte) paper. In a way it describes the phone call from Roadshow Distributors to the printers...
" look mate this movie is a dead set looser so use the cheapest paper and go two tone and hold back on the print run!! " ,
and yet the printer stayed with the theme with all three printing runs and very cleverly went purple, orange and finally blue. With box office revenue growing with each extra print run the printer refused to turn to the much more expensive and eye catching Glossy paper, leaving us collectors with a rare and unique set.
NOTE. double print volumes for daybills as most reel cans housed 1 sheet and 2 bills No Orange daybills printed. .
81 GLOSS 79 MATTE
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