How The First Weekend In May Went From "Porky's" To "Iron Man 3"

    UPDATED: Summer didn't always begin with the first full weekend in May. It used to be a refuge for movies like Flashdance, With Honors, and The Craft.

    As far as Hollywood is concerned, the official start of summer is the first full weekend in May. But 'twas not always so.

    Until about 14 years ago, that weekend was seen as a kind of "warm-up" slot for movies that would have been pummeled if stacked against the bigger movies of the summer, or as a resting post for long-running sleeper blockbusters that had opened earlier in the spring and taken up residence atop the box office ever since.

    Today, a "summer" movie can open as early as February (A Good Day to Die Hard) and March (Oz the Great and Powerful), but the summer movie creep began in earnest in 1999, when Brendan Frasier and Rachel Weisz chased a digital mummy through pre-WWII Egypt. What were early May movies like before that year? And how have they changed since? Let us count the dollar signs by going through every number one movie for the first full weekend in May since 1982.

    All figures for domestic box office only, courtesy Box Office Mojo.

    May 7-9, 1982: Porky's

    May 6-8, 1983: Flashdance

    May 4-6, 1984: Breakin'

    May 3-5, 1985: Code of Silence

    May 2-4, 1986: Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling

    May 1-3, 1987: The Secret of My Success

    May 6-8, 1988: Colors

    May 5-7, 1989: Pet Sematary

    May 4-6, 1990: Pretty Woman

    May 3-5, 1991: Oscar

    May 1-3, 1992: Basic Instinct

    May 7-9, 1993: Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story

    May 6-8, 1994: With Honors

    May 5-7, 1995: French Kiss

    May 3-5, 1996

    May 2-4, 1997: Breakdown

    May 1-3, 1998: He Got Game

    May 7-9, 1999: The Mummy

    May 5-7, 2000: Gladiator

    May 4-6, 2001: The Mummy Returns

    May 3-5, 2002: Spider-Man

    May 2-4, 2003: X2: X-Men United

    May 7-9, 2004: Van Helsing

    May 6-8, 2005: Kingdom of Heaven

    May 5-7, 2006: Mission: Impossible III

    May 4-6, 2007: Spider-Man 3

    May 2-4, 2008: Iron Man

    May 1-3, 2009: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

    May 7-9, 2010: Iron Man 2

    May 6-8, 2011: Thor

    May 4-6, 2012: Marvel's The Avengers

    May 3-5, 2013: Iron Man 3

    Here's a chart version, including both actual and inflation-adjusted figures, to get a sense of just how much this weekend has changed in the last 15 years: