They're claiming that none of their films are ready yet, but is that the real reason 20th Century Fox has decided to pull out of next week's San Diego ComicCon? The studio was previously scheduled to hold a "star-and-filmmaker-studded panel" next Friday in the main hall, featuring exclusive first looks at films like Aliens vs Predator, Jumper, Babylon A.D. and Hitman. While practically every other major studio (Warner Bros., Paramount/Dreamworks, Lionsgate, New Line, Sony Pictures, Universal and Walt Disney) still have plans to appear, Fox has officially pulled out. Or have they? According to The LA Times, the studio was reconsidering that decision yesterday afternoon -- meanwhile, ComicCon organizers were scrambling to fill their much-coveted slot.

This hasn't been the greatest of weeks for Fox. Earlier, there was a whole big stink going on in Chicago over Fox's apparent snub of some film critics when it came to invites for advanced screenings of their films. From what I understand, The Chicago Film Critics Association has instituted a boycott against Fox releases. The boycott won't affect reviews; instead, they'll be staying away from additional coverage like features, interviews, etc ... Personally, I'm a bit peeved as well after finding out yesterday that the only Simpsons Movie screening happening in the New York City area (that I'm aware of) is taking place the night before the film will be released. And, as far as I can tell, the same goes for the rest of the country. So, while I usually like to have a day or so to sit with a film before I review it, I now have a few hours.

Whether or not this ComicCon pull out has anything to do with the aforementioned boycott -- I don't know. I do know, however, that Fox has become a major player when it comes to fighting movie piracy (they're one of the studios who wanted to ban advanced screenings in Canada), and so perhaps it's not a question of whether their footage is ready -- but, instead, has to do with them being afraid that same footage will be on YouTube within the hour. Oh, and I should note that Fox Atomic will still be attendance ... handing out raffles, or something. Yay! Raffles!