Big, better, punctual

Dinosaurs ruled the world Monday night, or at least a significant chunk of ours. The operative word at the industry unveiling of “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” was more — more screens, more people and more dinosaurs.

Director Steven Spielberg wasn’t on hand, but he wasn’t really missed as some 4,700 guests streamed into the Universal City Cineplex Odeon, which dedicated all 18 auditoriums to the dino-mic sequel. Universal staff also managed to pull off something that heretofore existed only in the realm of imagination: Screenings began within 10 minutes of the scheduled starting time of 7:30 p.m.

The theater’s CityWalk entrance was decked out with “Lost World” jungle props, including the new Mercedes M Class SUV featured in the film, enhanced by the ominous sounds of approaching thunder lizards.

In what seems to have become standard procedure among the higher-profile screenings for all the studios, tickets were imprinted with anti-counterfeit markings to weed out crashers.

Among those who did make the cut were cast members Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Pete Postlethwaite, Vince Vaughn, Arliss Howard, Vanessa Lee Chester, Richard Schiff, Thomas Duffy and Ariana Richards.

Exuberant Universal execs included Edgar Bronfman Jr., Frank Biondi, Ron Meyer, Howard Weitzman, Bruce Hack, Casey Silver, Marc Platt, Stacey Snider, Buffy Shutt, Kathy Jones, Nikki Rocco, Chris McGurk, Greg Meidel and Alan Sutton.

Also in the aud were David Geffen, helmer Robert Zemeckis, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tom Arnold, John Lithgow and Dick Van Dyke.

At least one new species had its screen debut: the compsognathus. They’re little and look real cute — until you get too close and they swarm. Maybe Universal should use them to keep out the uninvited.

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