Iron Man 2 on Pirate Bay before North American release

Pirated copies of the film are on file-sharing website before its scheduled debut.

Pirated copies of the globally successful superhero movie Iron Man 2 have been put up on the file-sharing website Pirate Bay before its scheduled debut in North America on Friday.

The film generated more than $100m in ticket sales this weekend after its debut in Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America.

Comments by Pirate Bay users show the copies available were recorded using handheld cameras by people sitting in theatres.

According to CNET, it is not clear how much the distribution of pirated movies online harm ticket sales. They may in fact boost them by word-of-mouth publicity.

A spokesman for Viacom, the parent company of Paramount Pictures that owns the rights to the movie, termed it a "theft...that is intensely disrespectful and damaging to those who pour their creativity and capital into movies and television."