Movie Anniversaries This Holiday Weekend: Summer Movie Season Kicks Off … Now

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The Memorial Day weekend has been thought of as the traditional kickoff of the summer movie season. While that date has crept forward earlier in the month of May, there still have been a number of huge films that have opened over this weekend in years past.

Time to remind you of some of this weekend’s top-grossing movies of the last 40 years.


Just one year ago, as box offices were looking to rebound, Tom Cruise flew into theaters with the long-delayed offering of Top Gun: Maverick. The film set a box office record for the holiday weekend by pulling in over $160 million.


Five years ago it was a Star Wars film that led the way for Memorial Day weekend, but one you may not have guessed, as Solo: A Star Wars Story landed on top for the period, pulling in over $103 million. Find it now on Disney+ to relive the magic of the Ron Howard film.


Going back 10 years to 2013? Can you furiously figure out the title that was top of the heap? It was Fast & Furious 6 bringing home over $117 million. Relive Furious 6 at home and remember Fast X is still in theaters now.


In 2008 (15 years ago, for those who don’t like to do math), Harrison Ford, who is back with Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (in theaters June 30, 2023), led the box office fray with his portrayal of the good Dr. Jones in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.


I swear, 2003 does not seem that long ago. It was that weekend that introduced us to God (in the form of Morgan Freeman), who loaned some of his power to Bruce (Jim Carrey). Answering individual prayers, but mainly his own, led to this funny offering that laughed its way to over $85 million dollars for the holiday weekend in Bruce Almighty.


Monsters were the key in 1998, as 25 years ago Godzilla reigned and we went to the theaters to see the classic movie monster yet again. In this offering, the radioactive giant lizard rampaged through New York and terrorized Matthew Broderick, who tried to stop him.


Sylvester Stallone is a king; well he’s in Tulsa King on Paramount+ at the moment, but 30 years ago he found himself atop the box office, hanging from a cliff. Cliffhanger starred the ageless Stallone and prepared the climbing population for a summer outdoors (climbing) and a summer indoors (movies). And don’t look now, but this film has a glorious 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray SteelBook to pick up beginning May 30.


Crikey, we bet you forgot this character topped the box office in 1988, as Crocodile Dundee II swam into theaters and bit off over $24 million with Paul Hogan in the title role.

Movie Absolute — Sequels usually mean big summer movie season business.


Let’s do one more and go back 40 years for this one, when Star Wars released the third film of the franchise. And surely  “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …” took the top spot on Memorial Day weekend in 1983.

These iconic, and not so iconic, films were top of the box office for their Memorial Day weekend run; to be reminded of the great trailers from these special moments was a delight.

But what film will join this legacy this year?

Week 1 of The Little Mermaid? Or will another title be this summer’s cream of the crop?

Enjoy your summer at the movies, and enjoy these classic films in your backyard theater. I sense some great movie parties outdoors and indoors on the horizon this year.

 Oh What A Year: 1980
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Oh What A Year: 1980

January 2020

Take a look back at our retrospect of the year 1980 where we celebrate the hottest in movies, music and TV.

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