Movies look to SXSW for a breakout gig

Soon after its 1987 founding, South by Southwestemerged as one of the nation's top showcases for off-the-beaten-track music. Now the festival has turned into a very different kind of launchpad -- for the often raunchy youth-appeal comedies that have become one of Hollywood's biggest profit centers.

Over the last few years, Universal has premiered its sex romps "Knocked Up" and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" at the annual Austin-based gathering, while Sony traveled to Texas to introduce "21," a gambling drama than went on to become a surprisingly popular box-office hit.

To open this year's festival on Friday, Paramount will premiere its bromantic comedy “I Love You, Man.” Warner Bros. is taking its dark mall cop comedy “Observe and Report” and Universal will bring in a rough cut of its Sam Raimi horror movie“Drag Me to Hell" and screen three scenes from Sacha Baron Cohen's new comedy "Brüno."

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