Case | HBS Case Collection | December 2007 (Revised August 2014)

Xanadu on Broadway

by Anita Elberse


Can one of Hollywood's biggest flops magically turn into a Broadway hit? Xanadu, an adaptation of a 1980 Olivia Newton-John roller-disco film described by one critic as "the epic failure to end all epic failures," opened on Broadway in July 2007. Producer Rob Ahrens, the driving power behind the resurrection, anxiously awaited the verdict of audience members. Was the choice to produce Xanadu the Broadway musical the right choice?

Keywords: Theater Entertainment; Product Marketing; Product Launch; Demand and Consumers; Risk and Uncertainty; Creativity; Entertainment and Recreation Industry;


Elberse, Anita. "Xanadu on Broadway." Harvard Business School Case 508-062, December 2007. (Revised August 2014.)