What is the size of a movie poster?

The Standard Size of a Movie Poster

Movie posters are an essential part of the film industry’s marketing strategy. These visually captivating pieces serve to attract potential audiences, provide essential information about the film, and set the tone for what viewers can expect. The size of a movie poster can vary depending on the country, the era, and the specific needs of the marketing campaign. However, there are standard dimensions that have been widely adopted in the industry.

Standard Dimensions

  1. One-Sheet (27″ x 40″): The most common size for a movie poster in the United States is the one-sheet, which measures 27 inches by 40 inches (68.58 cm x 101.6 cm). This size is typically used in movie theaters and is the standard for most promotional purposes. The dimensions have evolved slightly over time, with older posters often measuring 27 inches by 41 inches.
  2. Mini Posters (11″ x 17″): Smaller than the one-sheet, mini posters are often used for promotional giveaways and can be found in retail settings. These measure 11 inches by 17 inches (27.94 cm x 43.18 cm) and are also popular for personal collections due to their manageable size.
  3. **Bus Stop Posters (40″ x

Bus Stop Posters (40″ x 60″)

Larger posters, measuring 40 inches by 60 inches (101.6 cm x 152.4 cm), are commonly used for bus stops, transit shelters, and other large outdoor displays. These posters, known as “bus stop posters,” offer greater visibility from a distance and accommodate more detailed graphics and text.

  1. Subway Posters (46″ x 60″)

Subway posters, measuring 46 inches by 60 inches (116.84 cm x 152.4 cm), are specifically designed for transit environments like subway stations. These oversized posters capture the attention of commuters and provide ample space for vivid imagery and extensive information.

  1. International Variations

While the one-sheet size is prevalent in the United States, other countries have their own standard sizes. For instance, in the United Kingdom, the standard cinema poster size is often 30 inches by 40 inches (76.2 cm x 101.6 cm), slightly larger than the U.S. one-sheet. In France, the standard size is known as the “Affiche” which measures 47 inches by 63 inches (119.38 cm x 160.02 cm).

Historical Context and Evolution

The dimensions of movie posters have evolved significantly since the early days of cinema. In the early 20th century, film studios used a variety of sizes and formats to advertise their films. The one-sheet format became standardized in the mid-20th century as the film industry sought more consistency and efficiency in its marketing efforts.

During the Golden Age of Hollywood, larger formats like three-sheets (41 inches by 81 inches) and six-sheets (81 inches by 81 inches) were also common, particularly for major film releases. These larger formats allowed for more elaborate artwork and were often used in prominent display areas.

Practical Considerations

The standardization of poster sizes facilitates easier production, distribution, and display. The 27″ x 40″ one-sheet size is particularly practical because it fits the dimensions of most commercial movie poster frames and display cases used in theaters and public spaces. This uniformity also makes it easier for collectors to find suitable frames for their posters.

Moreover, standard sizes help ensure that posters can be mass-produced cost-effectively. Printing equipment and materials are optimized for these dimensions, which helps keep production costs down for film studios and marketing agencies.


Movie posters play a crucial role in the marketing and promotion of films. While various sizes are used depending on the context and location, the one-sheet (27″ x 40″) has become the standard in the United States due to its practicality and widespread acceptance. Other sizes, such as mini posters, bus stop posters, and international formats, also have their specific uses and advantages. Understanding these dimensions is important for anyone involved in the production, distribution, or collection of movie posters.

The standardization of movie poster sizes not only streamlines the marketing process but also preserves the aesthetic and cultural value of these iconic pieces of cinema history. Whether displayed in theaters, public spaces, or private collections, movie posters continue to captivate audiences and contribute to the enduring legacy of the films they represent.