Purpose: The image registration literature comprises many methods for 2D-3D registration for which accuracy has been established in a variety of applications. However, clinical application is limited by a small capture range. Initial offsets outside the capture range of a registration method will not converge to a successful registration. Previously reported capture ranges, defined as the 95% success range, are in the order of 4-11 mm mean target registration error. In this article, a relatively computationally inexpensive and robust estimation method is proposed with the objective to enlarge the capture range. Methods: The method uses the projection-slice theorem in combination with phase correlation in order to estimate the transform parameters, which provides an initialization of the subsequent registration procedure. Results: The feasibility of the method was evaluated by experiments using digitally reconstructed radiographs generated from in vivo 3D-RX data. With these experiments it was shown that the projection-slice theorem provides successful estimates of the rotational transform parameters for perspective projections and in case of translational offsets. The method was further tested on ex vivo ovine x-ray data. In 95% of the cases, the method yielded successful estimates for initial mean target registration errors up to 19.5 mm. Finally, the method was evaluated as an initialization method for an intensity-based 2D-3D registration method. The uninitialized and initialized registration experiments had success rates of 28.8% and 68.6%, respectively. Conclusions: The authors have shown that the initialization method based on the projection-slice theorem and phase correlation yields adequate initializations for existing registration methods, thereby substantially enlarging the capture range of these methods. © 2010 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.