Bloomberg News

‘Dragon Tattoo’ Named Riskiest Movie on Motorcycles, Torture

February 14, 2012

(Updates with insurer’s comment in the fifth paragraph.)

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” the film featuring motorcycle, fight and torture scenes, was named 2011’s riskiest movie by Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co.

The Sony Corp. movie details the search for a serial killer by Daniel Craig as journalist Mikael Blomkvist, and Rooney Mara as computer hacker Lisbeth Salander. Salander is raped by her legal guardian and later tortures him, tattooing his chest. Filming in Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom increased the risk from transporting film equipment and of dealing with illness beyond the U.S.

A motorcycle scene in the novel by Stieg Larsson was changed in the movie because of insurance risks, according to a statement today from Fireman’s Fund, a unit of Germany’s Allianz SE. “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” had a production budget of $90 million and grossed about $211 million in worldwide ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo, an industry website.

“Delays can cost a production millions of dollars if a cast member becomes injured and is unable to work,” said Wendy Diaz, entertainment underwriting director for Novato, California-based Fireman’s Fund, in the statement.

Insurance may cost 1 percent to 3 percent of a film’s budget, according to Suzanne Meraz, a spokeswoman for Fireman’s Fund. The company covers 80 percent of U.S. films and backed “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” Meraz declined to disclose the cost of the policy or amount of coverage.

The movie was nominated for five Academy Awards, including best actress for Mara. The ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 26. Meraz said winners are selected by a panel at the insurer that weighs the location of filming and the riskiness of stunts.

“Salt” was named 2010’s riskiest movie to insure after star Angelina Jolie did her own stunts in scenes involving weapons, fights, motorcycles and a leap off an overpass onto a truck. “Inglorious Basterds,” featuring Brad Pitt scalping Nazis in World War II, stood out in 2009 as gunfights and pyrotechnics filmed outside the U.S. increased its risks.

--Editors: Dan Kraut, Christine Maurus

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Ludtke in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at

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