It started with La Dolce Vita (1960). The opening shot is of a statue of Jesus being flown by helicopter over Rome. A second chopper follows, with Marcello Mastroianni as a news reporter aboard. They pass over a luxury penthouse with a group of bikini-clad young ladies, who hold a brief conversation with the chopper pilot.
The next film to employ the floating symbol opening shot was called $ (1971). That was it's original title, which confused people, so for a time it was called Dollars, which wasn't much better, so it became The Heist, one of maybe fifty movies which have employed that phrase as a title. In this film the symbol is an American dollar sign, suspended from a crane over the city of Hamburg.
Rain Man (1988) opens with a red Lamborghini suspended from a crane, as it is unloaded from a ship.
L.A. Story (1991) opens with a hotdog suspended from a helicoptor floating over Los Angeles and being greeted by a group of young women in bikinis.