The first 36 minutes of the new Harry Potter movie, titled “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” leaked online just one day after the two-part film premiered in New York City, prompting Warner Bros. to issue the following statement:

“Last night a portion of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 1’ was stolen and illegally posted on the internet. This constitutes a serious breach of copyright violation and theft of Warner Bros. property. We are working actively to restrict and/or remove copies that may be available. Also, we are vigorously investigating this matter and will prosecute those involved to the full extent of the law.”

But how on earth did someone manage to “steal” almost 40 minutes of a major motion picture? That’s the question on everyone’s minds, and it has led folks to believe that Warner Bros. actually leaked the movie themselves to generate a bit of publicity (which would in turn help movie sales, of course).

The film hits theaters  WORLDwide tomorrow (Thurs. Nov 18) and will probably be the #1 movie this weekend. But what do you think? Did Warner Bros. “leak” the movie themselves to help boost movie sells for the weekend?

Thoughts?