By Thom Geier
September 04, 2012 at 07:46 PM EDT
Johan Persson

In its final week on Broadway, the hit British comedy One Man, Two Guvnors starring irrepressible Tony winner James Corden shattered the box office record at the Music Box Theatre, pulling in $853,518 (91 percent of the venue’s potential gross), according to figures from the Broadway League. That’s a remarkable achievement for a nonmusical production on the Great White Way. One Man is one of only three straight plays that have opened this year and recouped their producers’ initial investments (in this case, $3.25 million). The others are the acclaimed Tony-winning revival of Death of a Salesman starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, which earned back its $3.1 million investment 14 weeks into its 16-week run this spring, and the star-studded election-year revival Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, which announced last week that it had recouped its own $3.25 million investment (the show is scheduled to close this Sunday, Sept. 9).

Meanwhile, Bruce Norris’ topical drama Clybourne Park, which also had its last performance on Sept. 2, concluded its five-month run with a (modest) bang. Final-week ticket sales climbed 15 percent to $486,336, nearly 57 percent of the show’s potential gross. Despite winning the Pulitzer Prize and this year’s Tony for best drama, the production featured a cast unfamiliar to non-theatergoers and never really caught fire at the box office. It’s not expected to make back its initial investment.

As usual, Broadway’s box office was dominated by the familiar stable of musical powerhouses. The Lion King led the charge with $1.72 million for the week; followed by Wicked ($1.7 million); The Book of Mormon ($1.67 million, a new house record); Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ($1.43 million); and the Ricky Martin-led revival Evita ($1.1 million).

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