'Harry Potter' hits Web before big box office debut

Harry Potter book seriesImage by bibicall via Flickr

Warner Bros studio said on Wednesday it was working to remove a 36-minute Internet leak of the new "Harry Potter" film ahead of what industry experts said could be the biggest opening weekend box office yet for the major movie franchise.

Industry watchers and even the movie's parent studio, Warner Bros., think the film could eclipse the $100 million mark in the US and Canada over its first three days in theaters, starting on Nov. 19. They are even predicting a full run of more than $1 billion in global ticket sales.

Those eye-popping numbers were being talked about even as 36 minutes of " Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" turned up on a file-sharing website Tuesday night ahead of the movie's premiere in numerous countries around the globe.

Warner Bros said in a statement that the excerpt was "stolen and illegally posted on the Internet. This constitutes a serious breach of copyright violation and theft of Warner Bros. property.

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'Harry Potter' hits Web before big box office debut